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Full text of "History of Dearborn and Ohio counties, Indiana"

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Cu^ CHICAGO: 4 .) 

> ^~^ « John Morris Company * ^^ * 
^ ^ printers. ^ j 


TT^HE generation of hardy men, who first settled the region comprising 
-L the counties whose history is given in this vohime, has nearly all passed 
away. The names and deeds of those who encountered the perils of Indian 
warfare, endured the privations of pioneer life, and, with rifles by their 
sides, cleared away the giants of the forests, rescuing from savages and wild 
beasts the lands the present generation possesses in peace, should not be 
forgotten. It is the purpose of this volume to give the history of their 
achievements, and to record the growth and development of these counties, 
that the present and future generations may know something of what it cost 
to give them this fair land, and who were the brave men and noble women 
who converted a wilderness into the smiling region we now behold. 

More than a year has elapsed since the prospectus of this work was 
issued. This period has been spent in its preparation, during which every 
township and neighborhood have been visited and information obtained by 
conversation with old residents and men of intelligence. Several hundred 
manuscript pages have been received from gentlemen in various parts of the 
counties. The compilers have explored the original records of the counties 
and availed themselves of all published sources of information. They have 
searched out every book, pamphlet and document relating to the history of 
southeast Indiana in the State Library at Indianapolis, the library of the 
Ohio Historical and Philosophical Society at Cincinnati, and the public 
libraries at Indianapolis and Cincinnati. In this way they have been enabled 
to present a larger and more varied amount of historical matter concerning 
the region along the Ohio and west of the Great Miami, than was ever 
before embodied in a single volume. 

The five preliminary chapters were prepared for this work, and will be 
found to contain facts concerning the early history of Indiana, not given 
in any history of the State yet pu.blished. 

The township histories are designed to chronicle annals of each neigh- 
borhood, thus rescuing fi'om oblivion much interesting and valuable local 
history that would otherwise be lost through the death of early settlers, and 
the ravages of time. 

The biographies, at the close of the history of the counties, are arranged 
in alphabetical order. They were prepared, for the most part, by the can- 
vassing agents of the publishers. These sketches may be found in succeed- 


ing years to possess an interest and value which will cause the book to be 
much sought after by exploi-ers in genealogies and family histories. 

In the preparation of the chapters on "The Miami Purchase" and 
' 'Indian Depredations' ' the writers have had the aid of the valuable papers 
of the late Dr. Ezra Ferris, of Lawrenceburgh, whose sketches have never 
been published in book form. They relate chiefly to the first six years of 
the settlement between the Miami Rivers. It is believed that every import- 
ant fact contained in them concerning the early history of the country about 
the mouth of the Great Miami will be found in the following pages. The 
printed sketches and manuscripts of Geo. W. Lane, who has long taken 
a deep interest in the pioneer history of Dearborn County, have been freely 
placed at the disposal of the i^ublishers. We also desire to express bur 
obligations to the venerable Samuel Morrison, of Indianapolis, George Sut- 
ton, M. D. , of Aurora, and Samuel F. Covington, of Cincinnati. 

The writers have faithfully aimed at accuracy, but he who expects to find 
the work entirely free from errors or defects, has little knowledge of the 
difficulties attending the preparation of a work of this kind. Some errors 
ai*e unavoidable. The publishers trust that the book will be received in a 
generous spirit, which is gratified at honest efForts, and not in a captious 

To county, town, and township officers, editors, members of the bar, 
physicians and many intelligent citizens, the publishers are indebted for 
favors and generous assistance. The Publishers. 




Sketches of Some Deceased Physicians 165 

Dr. Jabez Pereival 165 

Dr. Ezra Ferris 168 

Dr. Jeremiah H. Browor 167 

Dr. David Fisher 169 

Dr. Mathias Haines 170 

Dr. Henry J. Bowers " 173 

Dr. Nelson Horatio Torbet, 173 

Dr. Basil James 173 

Dr. Robert Gillespie 174 

Dr. Hugh T.Williams 174 

Dr. Myron H. Harding 174 

CHAPTER XL— Journalism. 

The Dearborn Gazette 176 

The Indiana Oracle 176 

The Indiana Palladium 177 

The Western Statesman 177 

The Political Beacon 179 

The Indiana Whig :; 180 

The Democratic Register 181 

The Independent Press 181 

The Lawrenceburgh Press 182 

The Indiana Signal 182 

The Dearborn Democrat 182 

The Western Republican 182 

The Western Commercial 182 

The Aurora Standard 183 

The Independent Banuer 183 

The Aurora Commercial 183 

The People's Advocate 183 

The Dearborn Independent 183 

The Aurora Spectator 183 

The Rising Sun 184 

The Rising Sun Times and Farmer's Journal 184 

The Rising Sun Journal 184 

The Indiana Patriot 185 

The Indiana Blade 185 

The Indiana Whig 186 

The Rising Sun Herald 187 

The Rising Sun Mirror 187 

The Hoosier Patriot 187 

The Indiana Republican 187 

The Neutral Penant 187 

The Indiana Weekly Visitor 187 

The Hoosier Paper 188 

The Observer and Recorder 189 

The Ohio County Recorder 190 

The Saturday News 190 

The Rising Sun Local 190 

CHAPTER XIL— Ohio River Floods. 

Climate of the Ohio Valley 191 

Effect of the Removal of Forests on Floods... 191 

The Flood of 1788-89 192 

An old Memorandum 192 

The Flood of 1832 192 

The Flood of 1847 194 

The Flood of 1882 194 

The Flood of 1883 196 

The Flood of 1884 197 

Relief of Sufferers at Lawrenceburgh 198 

Table of High Water Marks 198 

CHAPTER XIII.— Military History. 

Revolutionary Soldiers in Dearborn and 

Ohio Counties 199 

Dearborn Countv in the War of 1812 200 

Namesot Soldiers of the War of 1812 201 

The Mexican War 202 

The Civil War 203 

Dearborn County in the Civil War 203 

Company I, Seventy-seventh IndianaVolun- 

teer Infantry (three months' service) 208 

The Seventy-seventh Regiment (three 

months' service) 208 

Company C, Seventh Regiment (three yeans' 

service; '.. 209 

The Seventh Regiment Indiana Volunteer 

Infantry 210 

Company C, Eighty-third Indiana Volunteer 

Infantry 211 

The Eighty-third Regiment Infantry 212 


The Second Battery Light Artillery 214 

Company B, Fourth Cavalry 216 

The Seventy-seventh Regiment 216 

The Morgan Raid 219 

Unfortunate Occurrence During the Raid... 222 

Drafts and Bounties 223 

Tabular Account of County Expenditures... 224 

Aid Societies 224 

Closing Scenes of the War 225 

'HAPTER XIV.— List of Officers. 

Territorial Judges of Dearborn County 226 

Circuit Judges 226 

tJommou I'leas Judges 227 

Associate Judges 227 

Probate Judges 227 

Members of Territoral Legislature 227 

Members of Constitutional Conventions 228 

Members of State IjCgislature 228 

Board of Magistrates and County (Commis- 
sioners 230 

Treasurers 231 

Clerks 232 

Recorders 232 

Sheriffs 233 

Auditors 233 

United States Officers 233 

State Officers 234 

Ohio County Officers 234 

Circuit Judges 234 

Common Pleas Judges 234 

Associate Judges 235 

Probate Judges 235 

.Sheriffs 235 

Recorders 235 

Clerks 236 

Auditors 236 

Treasurers 236 

County Commissioners 236 

Members of the State Legislature 237 

CHAPTER XV.— City of Lawrenceburgh. 

Lawrenceburgh Laid Out 

Origin of its Name 

Capt. Samuel C. Vance 

Newtown Laid Out 


Early History and Progress ol I ^\lcnLC- 


Principal Citizens in 1813 

The Town Described in 1815 

Horse-thief Hanged near Tannti s < let k 

The Anderson House 

Lawrenceburgh Sunday-school Socittv 

Daniel Brown 

Celebration of the Fourth of Julv in 18') 

Business Interests in 1826 

Lawrenceburgh in 1828 Deecribed 

The Murder of Palmer Warren 

Trial, Conviction and Execution o( Vm isa 


Progress of the City from ISl'.o to ls4ii 

Independence Day, 1831 

Lawrenceburgh a City 

Cirowth and Progress 

Odd Fellows' Building 

Business of the City— 18.58-59 


Great Fire, July 4, iscc, 


Methodist Episcopal < hurch 

Baptist Church 

First Presbyterian Church 

Henry Ward Beecher in Lawrenceburgh 

Catholic Church 

German Evangelical Zion Church 

Lutheran St. John's Church 

German Methodist Episcopal Church 

Christian Church 

Trinity Episcopal Church 

Early Schools 

Graded Schools 



High School 281 

Leading Manufacturing Interests 283 

Gas Works 297 

Fire Department 297 

Societies 299 

""^^-^Old Landmarks 301 

Centennial Fourth of July 302 

CHAPTER XVI.— OiTY of Aurora. 

Aurora Laid Out 303 

Aurora Association for Internal Improve- 
ments 304 

First Sale of Lots 305 

Early History of the Village 306 

Reminiscences 309 

First Magistrate of Aurora 311 

Mayors of the City 314 

Telegraph and Telephone 315 

Business Exhibit in 18.58-59 315 

(jirowth and Progress 317 

Great Fire of 1882 320 

Floods 321 

Schools 324 

Fire Department 327 

Churches 328 

Baptist Church 328 

Methodist Episcopal Church 331 

Presbyterian Church 332 

St. John's Lutheran Church 333 

Catholic Church 334 

German Reformed Church 335 

St. Mark's Episcopal Church 335 

Christian Church 336 

Leading Jlanufacturing Interests 338 

Grand Opera House 352 

Postmasters 353 

Societies 353 

CHAPTER XVII.— City of Rising Sitn. 

Location 355 

Origin 3.56 

Founders of Rising Sun 357 

The Early Village 3.58 

First Merchant 359 

Incorporation 360 

Independence Day, l.s34 360 

The Town in 183.5-36 361 

Main and Front Streets in 1833 363 

Pen Picture of the Town in 1845 369 

Steam-boat Building and Boating 374 

Early Postmasters 370 

Telegraph 377 

Leading Manufacturing Interests 377 

National Bank 382 

Churches 382 

Methodist EpiscopaRhurch 382 

Presbyterian Church 384 

Christian Church 385 

TTuiversalist Church 386 

Baptist Church 386 

(German Reformed Church .• 386 

Shiloh Baptist Church 387 

Schools 387 

Rising Sun Seminary 389 

(iraded Schools 396 

Great Fire of 1866 397 

Fire of 1885 398 

Cemeteries 399 

Societies 400 

Rising Sun Insurance Company 402 

Flat-boat Insurance 405 

Centennial 1 'ourth of July 407 

CHAPTER XVIII.— Lawrenceburgii Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 409 

First Land Sales 410 

Pioneers and Pioneer Settlement.? 411 

Incidents of Pioneer Times 418 

Antiquities 420 

Schools, Churches and Graveyards 421 

Mills and Distilleries.. '. 423 

Hardinsburgh 424 

Greendale 424 

CHAPTER XIX.-Center Township. ^^^^' 

\ Organization and Boundaries 425 

^ First Land Sales [ 496 

Early Settlement '.'.'.'.'.'.'.'. 427 

Pioneer Reminiscences 428 

"Saw-mill," the Indian 432 

Early Religious and Educational Notes 4.34 

Cochran 434 

River View Cemetery 4.36 

CHAPTER XX.— Randolph Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 437 

^ , Land Entries .' 437 

"- Pioneers and PiuneiT Settlmients 439 

The Fultons 440 

The Brown Family 445 

North's Landing...! 450 

ilillersburgh .' 452 

Mills and Distilleries 453 

Schools, Churches aud (aaveyards 454 

CHAPTER XXL— Miller Township. 

Boundaries aud Organization 456 

Government Land Sales- 457 

V Pioneer Settlements 458 

-sj Notes on the Early Settlers 461 

Mills '. 463 

Schools, Churches, Crraveyards 464 

CHAPTER XXII.— Union Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 467 

Original Land Purchases 467 

Early Settlements 468 

An Indian Story 470 

Mills and Distilleries 471 

First Schools 471 

Churche.s and Graveyards 472 

Mounds 473 

Milton 474 

Hartford 476 

Miscellaneous 477 

CHAPTER XXIIL— Hogan Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 478 

Original Ljvnd Sales 478 

Early Settlements 479 

Notes on the Early Settlers 482 

Early Schools and Industries 484 

Churches and Graveyards 485 

Wilmington 486 

CHAPTER XXIV.— VVashington Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 489 

Land Entries ." 489 

Early Settlements 490 

Notes on Early Settlers 491 

Early Schools.. 493 

Churches and Graveyards 494 

CHAPTER XXV.— Clay Township. 

Organization and Boundaries 495 

First Land Sales 496 

Early Settlement 498 

Reminiscences of Laughery 500 

Mills 503 

Schools, Churches aud Graveyards 503 

DUlsborough 505 

CHAPTER XXVI.— Cesar Creek Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 507 

Original Land Sales 507 

Pioneer Settlements 508 

Noteson FirstSettlers 510 

First Schools 511 

Early Mills 512 

Churches and Graveyards 512 

Farmers' Retreat 514 




CHAPTER XXVII.— Pike Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 514 

First Land Sales 515 

Early Settlements 516 

Early Industries 518 

Churches, Schools and Graveyards 519 

Freedom, or Cole's Corners 521 

CHAPTER XXVIII.— Harrison Township. 

Organization and Boundaries 522 

First Land Sales 522 

Early Settlements 523 

Mills and Distilleries 527 

Schools, Churches and Graveyards 528 

Harrison 533 

Ancient Remains at Harrison 534 

CHAPTER XXIX.— Manchester Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 537 

First Land Sales 537 

Early Settlements and Pioneer Merchants... 541 

Churches, Schools and Graveyards 549 

Mills and Other Industries 552 

Hamlets 554 

CHAPTER XXX.— Sparta Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 656 

Original Land Sales 556 

Early Settlements and Events 559 

Industries 561 

Schools, Churches and Graveyards 561 

Moore's Hill 564 

Moore's Hill College 567 

CHAPTER \ XXL— York Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 569 

Government Land Sales 569 


Early Settlements 571 

Mills 573 

Schools, Churches and Graveyards 573 

Yorkville 576 

CHAPTER XXXIL— Kelso Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 577 

(iovernment Land Sales 577 

Early Settlement 579 

Dover 579 

New Alsace 581 

St. Leon 582 

CHAPTER XXXIII.— Cass Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 584 

Government Land Sales 584 

Pioneer Settlements, Incidents and Tradi- 
tions 585 

Industries 589 

Schools, Churches and Graveyards 589 

Aberdeen 591 

CHAPTER XXXIV.— Jackson Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 592 

Early Settlements 595 

Schools, Churches and Graveyards 596 

Industries 598 

Hamlets 599 

CHAPTER XXXV.— Logan Township. 

Boundaries and Organization 600 

Government Land Sales 600 

Early Settlers 602 

Mills 6C2 

Schools, Churches and Graveyards 603 

Logan Cross Roads 604 


Biographies of Dearborn and Ohio Counties, 

Alphabetically Arranged 605-987 

ies out of place : 
bhn Smith 

Vincenes Frank. 


William S. Holman 

James H. Lane 

William D. H. Hunter.. 
George Sutton 

Myron H. Harding 171 

John Hornberger Facing 296 

Shadrach Hathaway Facing 355 

Lawrenceburgh in the Flood. 


.Facing 191 | Dearborn County Court House 240 

*In the various Township Histories under the head of Early Settlers, Pioneers or a similar heading 
appear references to, and short sketches of many of the early residents of the Counties of Dearborn and 
Ohio not given in this department of the volume. 




The Title of Virginia to the Territory Northwest of the Ohio-The 
French IN Indiana-Gen. Clark's Eeduction of the British Posts 
-Organization of the Northwest Territory-First Counties in 
Indiana-Knox County-Gen. Clark's Expedition Against the 
Wabash Indians-Gen. Charles Scott's Expedition-Col. James 
Wilkinson's Expedition-Gen. Josiah Harmar's Expedition-St. 
Clair's Defeat— Wayne's Victory. 

INDIANA, as a civil division bearing the name, dates its existence 
from July 4,1800, when the act of Congress creating Indiana Terri- 
tory went into effect. It then included Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. 
The United States census of 1800 found in Indiana 5,641 inhabitants. 
In 1805 Michigan Territory was struck off, and, in 1809, Illinois; from 
the latter year Indiana dates its present limits. December 11, 1816, 
the Territory was admitted into the Union as a State. From its first 
exploration by white men Indiana constituted a part of New France until 
1763, when it was ceded by the French to the English. In the treaty of 
1783' Indiana was included in the territory yielded by Great Britain to 
the United States. While it belonged to the English it was part of the 
colony of Virginia, and was ceded to the United States by Virginia in 
1784, from which time until the formation of Indiana Territory, it 
formed a part of the Northwest Territory. 

Virginia acquired title to the great territory northwest of the Ohio by 
its several charters from James I, and especially from the one bearing 
date of May 23,1609, in which were granted all the territory along the coast 
for 400 miles, and extending "up into the land throughout from sea to 
sea." Virginia first attempted to exercise authority over this vast domain in 
1769, when the House of Burgesses passed an act establishing the 
county of Botetourt, with the Mississippi River as its western boundary. 


Fincastle, Va., was the seat of justice of this extensive county. In 
October, 1788, a Virginia statute provided that "all the citizens of the 
Commonwealth of Virginia, who are already settled, or shall hereafter 
settle on the western side of the Ohio, shall be included in a distinct 
county, which shall be called Illinois County.'' Col. John Todd served 
under appointment of the governor of Virginia as civil commandant 
and lieutenant of Illinois, until his death at the battle of Blue Licks in 


The first explorations and settlements of the whites were by the 
French, and were the results of the enterprise of La Salle, who set out 
from Canada in 1G79, and passing across the lakes descended the Illinois 
River. The Indians inhabiting the country at that time seem to have 
made little or no opposition to its occupancy by the new-comers, and 
several important French towns were established on the Illinois and 
Wabash before the eighteenth century was far advanced. The missions 
and settlements of the French were of necessity established along the 
routes of travel from Canada to the mouth of the Mississippi. The only 
mode of travel was by canoes. Among the portages over which the 
French carried their canoes from one navigable river to another, one 
was of three miles' length in St. Joseph County, Ind., from the St. 
Joseph River to the Kankakee; another was from the Maumee near Fort 
Wayne to the Wabash. 

The exact period of the first French settlements cannot be ascer- 
tained. Early in the eighteenth century a party of French Canadians 
descended the Wabash, and several settlements were soon established 
along its banks, among others Vincennes. Many dates have been given 
of the establishment of Vincennes, some of which are mere conjectures. 
Volney conjectured the settlement to have been made about 1735; Bishop 
Brute speaks of a missionary station there in 1700; Bancroft says a 
military post was formed there in 1716, and in 1742 a settlement of 
herdsmen was made; Judge Law dates the post back to 1710 or 1711, 
and the New American Cyclopedia says the party of French Canadians 
descended the Wabash in 1702 and established towns along the river. 
At one time the French settlements were represented as in a flourishing 
condition and this part of New France was described as a new paradise, 
but the settlers degenerated, became ignorant and slothful, and but little 
superior to the Indians among whom they lived. 

GEN. Clark's reduction of the British posts. 
During the Revolution most of the Western Indians adhered to the 
British. The possession by the British of the posts established by the 


French at Detroit, Kaskaskia and Vincennes gave them easy and con- 
stant access to the Indian tribes of the Northwest. The bold plan of 
defeating and expelling the British from their Western posts was con- 
ceived and brilliantly executed by a Kentucky backwoodsman, George 
Rogers Clark. By spies seut for the purpose, who were absent from 
April 20 to June 22, 1777, Clark satisfied himself that an enterprise 
against the Western settlements might easily be successful. He went to 
Virginia and submitted his plans to the government of that State. Gov. 
Patrick Henry gave him written instructions, authorizing him to enlist . 
seven companies to serve under his orders for three months. Clark's 
rank at this time was lieutenant colonel. He raised three companies 
at Pittsburgh, and descended the Ohio to the falls, where he was joined 
by another company of Kentucky recruits. He left the falls with four 
companies on the 24th of June, 1778, during a total eclipse of the sun. 
He descended the river to Fort Massac, and thence proceeded by land 
to Kaskaskia, a distance of over 100 miles. Heavy rains had fallen, and 
were succeeded by hot, sultry weather. Their route lay through a wil- 
derness without a path. On the prairies a July sun beat upon them. 
Their guide became bewildered. On the 4th of July this party of in- 
vaders, with torn and soiled garments and beards of three weeks' growth, 
came in sight of Kaskaskia. The town contained about 250 houses, and 
the inhabitants were mostly French. Clark sent forward some of his 
men who could speak French to pass through the streets, making procla- 
mation that all the inhabitants must keep within their houses, under 
penalty of being shot down in the streets. The next day the little army 
of invaders marched into town in two divisions, and in two hours all the 
inhabitants surrendered and gave up their arms. Not a drop of blood 
was shed, but the victory was complete. A few days later Clark sent 
a detachment mounted on French ponies to Cahokia, thirty miles dis- 
tant, and obtained a surrender of the fort and garrison at that point. 
An embassy was sent to Vincennes, and in a few days the American flag 
was floating from the fort and the French inhabitants brought over to 
the United States. 

Clark was compelled to leave only a diminutive force to hold posses- 
sion of Vincennes, and the British Lieutenant-Governor, Henry Hamilton, 
then at Detroit, formed the plan of retaking the|place, in which he suc- 
ceeded without difficulty. The latter had a considerable force of British 
regulars, French volunteers and Indians. Clark with his main force was 
at Kaskaskia, and his position one of great peril. His number of men 
was too small to stand a siege and his situation too remote to call for re- 
cruits. He formed the bold and hazardous scheme of capturing Gov. 
Hamilton and retaking Vincennes. 


February 7, 1779, Col. Clark with bis little army commenced its 
march from Kaskaskia to Vincennes. Their route lay through prairies 
and points of timber. The winter was unusually wet, and the streams 
all hio-h. On the 13th of February they arrived at the Little Wabash 
and'Muddy Rivers. The rains fell every day, and here the men were 
compelled to wade to their waists, and sometimes to their armpits in mud 
and water. On the 18th, eleven days after their departure, they heard 
the morning gun of the fort at Vincennes. On the evening of the same 
day they were at the Wabash, below the mouth of the Embarjrass. The 
party was now in an exhausted condition; the river was out of its banks, 
and all the low grounds covered with water. Again making their way 
through deep waters they arrived in full view of the town a little before 
sunset on the 21st. In order to make his force appear formidable, Clark 
ordered his men to march and countermarch in such a manner that from 
the intervening ground the enemy were led to count them twice or thrice. 
Ten or twelve pairs of colors were so displayed on long poles as to be 
seen above the intervening high land, and from a distance made no des- 
picable appearance. Gov. Hamilton was awed into a surrender, which 
was formally made on the 24th. 

The expedition of Col. Clark was not excelled in difficulty, daring 
and heroic endurance by any during the Revolution. The march from 
Kaskaskia to Vincennes was one of extraordinary hardship and enterprise. 
The whole expedition resulted in the successful reduction of all the 
British military posts between the Ohio and Mississippi, gave tranquility 
to the frontier settlements, and secured to the United States the whole of 
this vast territory. The'^Virginia Legislature passed a complimentary 
resolution to Clark and his men for their victorious campaign, "whereby 
great advantages may accrue to the common cause of America, as well as 
to this commonwealth in particular. " 


After Virginia and other States had ceded to the United States their 
claims of jurisdiction aad soil to the territory lying northwest of the 
Ohio, it became necessary for Congress to establish civil government in 
the new extensive region. Accordingly in the summer of 1787, while 
the convention which formed the constitution was in session at Philadel- 
phia, Congress at New York passed an "Ordinance for the government 
of the territory of the United States northwest of the River Ohio," 
which has come to be best known as "The Ordinance of '87." This was 
the most important act of Congress under the Articles of Confederation, 
For nearly twenty-nine years it was the fundamental law of Indiana, S. 
P. Chase in his history of Ohio said of it: "Never, probably, in the 



history of the world, did a measure of legislation so accurately fulfill, 
and yet so mightily exceed the anticipations of the legislators." Its 
object^ was declared to be to "extend the fundamental principles of civil 
and religious liberty which form the basis whereon these republics, their 
laws and constitutions are erected; to fix and establish those principles 
as the basis of all laws, constitutions and governments, which forever 
hereafter shall be formed in the said territory; to provide also for the 
establishment of States and permanent government therein, and for their 
admission to a share in the federal councils on an equal footing with 
the original States at as early periods as may be consistent with the 
general interest." 

The territory for which this ordinance provided a government em- 
braced all the land then belonging to the United States northwest of 
the Ohio. It extended from Pennsylvania to the Mississippi, and from 
the Ohio to the great lakes. Five States have been organized from it: 
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. The territorial gov- 
ernment was organized soon after the passage of the ordinance and at 
first was vested solely in a governor and judges. The first governor 
was Gen. Arthur St. Clair, who was president of Congress when 
appointed. In 1788 he entered upon his duties at Marietta. During 
the continuance of the first grade of government, there was no capital of 
the territory in the proper sense of the term. Laws were passed by 
the governor and judges wherever they happened to be assembled. 
Some were enacted at Marietta, some at Cincinnati and a few at Vm- 



About the 1st of January, 1790, the governor, with other ofiScers, 
descended the Ohio from Marietta to Fort Washington, at Cincin- 
nati, where he organized Hamilton County, which embraced the western 
part of the State of Ohio. On the 8th of January, the governor and 
secretary arrived at Clarksville, at the falls of the Ohio, on their way to 
Vincennes. From the falls they proceeded by land along an Indian trail 
to Vincen nes, where they organized the county of Knox, the fourth county 
organized in the Northwest Territory. It comprised all the territory 
along the Ohio between the Great Miami and the Wabash. Vincennes 
was made the seat of justice. Thence they proceeded to Kaskaskia, and 
there esta blished the county of St. Clair, comprising all the territory from 
the Wabash to the Mississippi, and named by the secretary Winthrop 
Sargent, in [honor of the governor. Knox and St. Clair Counties were 
organized for the protection of the French inhabitants, and to carry into 
efifect the agreement in the ordinance of 1787 with reference to the pres- 
ervation of their rights under the laws and customs already existing 
among them. At Kaskaskia the governor issued a proclamation, calling 


upon tbe French inhabitants to exhibit the titles to their lands, in order 
to have them examined and confirmed and their lands surveyed. 

GEN. Clark's expedition against the wabash Indians. 
The first important expedition which passed over the Territory of 
Indiana against the Indians was the unsuccessful one of George Rogers 
Clark against the Wabash Indians in 1786. Many depredations had 
been committed in Kentucky by marauding bands crossing the Ohio, 
plundering, burning and scalping. The bands were chiefly from the 
Miamis and the Wabash. Congress having failed in its efforts to secure 
peace with the Indians by the treaty at Fort Finney, ordered two com- 
panies down the Ohio to the falls, and on June 30, 1786, authorized the 
raising of militia in Kentucky for the invasion of the country of the 
hostile tribes. The expedition was organized into two parties, one under 
Gen. Clark to march against the Upper Wabash country, the other, under 
Col. Benjamin Logan, was to proceed against the villages on the head- 
waters of the Great Miami. 

Col. Logan, with 400 or 500 mounted riflemen, crossed the Ohio 
near Maysville, Ky., and passing northward succeeded in destroying 
some Indian villages in what is now Logan County, Ohio, killing about 
twenty savages and taking about seventy prisoners. 

Gen. Clark was not so successful. With about 1,000 men he marched 
from the falls of the Ohio for Vincennes, and arrived near that place in 
October. His supplies were to be forwarded to that place by boats. 
Nine boats had been freighted with stores to descend the Ohio to the 
mouth of the Wabash, and then to ascend to Vincennes. The low state 
of the water retarded the arrival of the boats. The army lay encamped 
awaiting the arrival of provisions. Day after day passed. One thou- 
sand hungry men consume much food. The men were put on short allow- 
ance. Many became restless and mutinous. At last, after waiting nine 
days, the boats arrived, but to their disappointment the meat was found 
to be spoiled by the hot weather. There ^were sound rations for only 
three days, and there was a march before them of 200 miles. The mu- 
tinous spirit became more apparent. Gen. Clark urged an immediate 
and rapid advance. The Kentucky Volunteers were re-enforced by a 
number of the inhabitants of Vincennes, and the army started on its 
march up the Wabash. On reaching the mouth of the Vermillion, it was 
found that the Indians had deserted their villages on that stream. Dis- 
appointment, hunger and fatigue now led to open mutiny, and 300 men, 
with some oflficers of high I'ank, mounted their horses and left for their 
homes. Neither the commands, the entreaties, nor the tears of the com- 
manding general could avail. Nothing was left to Clark but the aban- 


donment of the expedition. With the remainder of his half- starved men, 
the unfortunate commander ^worked his way back to the falls, covered 
with shame and confusion. This was the last expedition of the bril- 
liant military genius, George Kogers Clark, and the first one which re- 
sulted unfortunately. 


In January, 1791, President Washington laid before Congress his 
views of the proper measures for protecting the Western settlements from 
Indian depredations. He expressed a very decided opinion that another 
campaign against the Wabash Indians was indispensable. These tribes 
were estimated at 1,100 warriors, to which were to be added 1,000 be- 
longing to more distant tribes. The President held that, although winter 
imposed peace at that time, unless the attention of the tribes was directed 
to their own country, they would spread desolation over the frontier on the 
opening of spring. Congress authorized the President to raise an army 
of 3,000 men, to be placed under the command of Gov. St. Clair, who 
was appointed a major-general, and also a corps of Kentucky volunteers 
for the purpose of a rapid march and immediate attack on the Wabash. 
This corps was placed under the command of Gen. Charles Scott. 

On the 23d of May, 1791, Gen. Scott, with a force of about 800 
mounted men, crossed the Ohio at the mouth of the Kentucky and com- 
menced his march for the Wea towns. They pressed forward with the 
utmost celerity, but the rain fell in torrents, and wore down their horses 
and injured their provisions. The country was intersected and made 
rough by four branches of the White River and other smaller streams, 
many of them having steep and muddy banks. On the Slst of May 
they had made 135 miles from the Ohio. June 1, at a distance 
of 150 miles from the Ohio, they came in sight of two small villages on 
their left, at a distance of two and four miles respectively, the main town 
being about five miles in front. The General sent a detachment under 
Col. Harding to attack the villages on the left, while he pressed forward 
rapidly toward the main town in front. When the main army arrived 
at an eminence overlooking the villages on the Wabash, the enemy were 
discovered in great confusion crossing the river in canoes, having been 
apprised of the approach of the whites by one of their warriors who 
had seen them on the preceding day. All the savages in five canoes were 
destroyed by a well directed fire. The Wabash, at that point, was too 
high to be forded, and the Indians kept up a vigorous fire from the Kick- 
apoo towns on the opposite bank. Two companies passed down the river 
and crossed over and drove the enemy from the Kickapoo village. In 
the mean time Col. Hardin successfully executed the order to take the 


villages on the left. He also discovered a third and stronger village 
which he also captured, and joined his commander before sunset, having 
killed six warriors and taken lifty-two prisoners. The next day Col. 
Wilkinson, with 360 men, mai'ched to the Tippecanoe village, which he 
took and destroyed, together with a large quantity of corn, peltry and 
furniture. On the same day the Wea and Kickapoo towns were burned, 
and the gallant army reached the Ohio on the 14:th of June, having ac- 
complished the great object of their expedition without the loss of a 
single man killed and only four wounded, and having killed thirty- two 
of the savages and taken fifty-two prisoners. The General testified 
that not a single act of inhumanity had marked the conduct of his men. 

COL. JAMES Wilkinson's expedition. 
The expedition of Gen. Scott having been successful, on the recom- 
mendation of Gen. St. Clair the Kentucky Board of War resolved to 
organize another without loss of time, to destroy the Eel Kiver towns, 
This expedition was placed under the command of Col. James Wilkinson. 
July 20 Col. Wilkinson reported to Gov. St. Clair, at^ Fort Washing- 
ton, with 525 men well mounted and equipped. The march began from 
Cincinnati August 1. They took with them provisions for thirty 
days. Instead of taking the direct course toward the Eel River villages, 
in order to mislead the enemy the army directed its course toward the 
site of Fort W^ayne. The hunting grounds of the Indians in the south- 
east part of Indiana, and the most common paths traveled by them were 
thus avoided. For three days the northwardly course was pursued. 
After about seventy miles from Cincinnati had been made, their course 
was turned northwestward. On the 6th they captured a Delaware living 
on the Maumee. On the 7th the army reached the Wabash near the mouth 
of Eel River. The troops crossed the river and charged upon the town. 
The enemy being completely surprised, was unable to make the least re- 
sistance; six of their warriors were killed and thirty-four prisoners taken. 
Unfortunately in the hurry and confusion of the charge two Indian 
women and one child were killed. A white captive in the village was 
released. The whites lost but two men killed and one wounded. The 
next day the corn was cat down and the cabins burned. Col. Wilkinson 
then took up his march toward the Kickapoo towns in the prairie, by way 
of the Tippecanoe village. Reaching the latter place, which had been de- 
stroyed by Gen. Scott in the preceding June, it was found that the 
Indians had replanted their corn and beans. These were again cut down. 
While at this place the commander learned of some murmuring and dis- 
content among his men, growing out of a reluctance to proceed further 
in the enemy's country. This induced him to examine the state of the 


horses and provisions, when he ]earned to his mortification that 270 horses 
were lame and jaded, and barely five days' provisions left for the men. 
Most reluctantly was the Colonel compelled to abandon his design against 
the Kickapoos of the prairie. He, however, marched against a village of 
the same tribe about three leagues west. This town, consisting of about 
thirty houses, was destroyed, with a considerable quantity of corn in the 
milk. On their homeward march the army fell into Gen. Scott's home- 
ward trace, and arrived at the falls of the Ohio August 21. The men 
were mostly Kentucky volunteers, and great praise was awarded by the 
commander to the whole detachment. Their entire march from Cincin- 
nati to the Indian towns, and then to the falls was by accurate computa- 
tion 451 miles, and was accomplished in twenty-one days. Among the 
prisoners taken by Col. Wilkinson were the sons and sisters of the king 
of Ouiatenon nation. 


The largest and most important expeditions against the Indians of 
the Northwest Territory were directed against the Miami towns at and 
near the junction of the St. Mary and St. Joseph, where they form the 
Maumee. The region about the site of Fort Wayne was probably more 
thickly populated with savages than any other in Indiana. The junction 
of the rivers was the site of an old and important town of the Miami 
tribe. The importance as a strategic point of the site of Fort Wayne 
struck Washington's sagacious mind, and one of the objects of the cam- 
paigns on the Maumee was to establish here a fort which was to be con- 
nected by Intel-mediate stations with Fort Washington at Cincinnati. 

The first of these campaigns was under the command of Gen. Josiah 
Harmar. He marched from Cincinnati, in September, 1790, by a cir- 
cuitous route, which he was told by guides was the shortest and best to 
the head of the Maumee. Ho had, in all, about 1,300 men, three- 
fourths of whom were raw militia, badly armed and equipped. They 
were badly supplied with axes and camp-kettles; their arms were largely 
out of repair and almost useless, many muskets being brought in with- 
out locks, with the expectation of being repaired in camp. Many of the 
militia were substitutes unused to fire-arms, who at the first sight of the 
Indians threw down their arms and ran. October 13, the army be- 
ing within about thirty miles of the site of Fort Wayne, Col. John 
Harding, with 600 militiamen and one company of regulars, was sent 
forward to surprise the enemy and keep them in their forts until the 
main body with artillery would come up. On reaching the villages, 
however, they were found deserted. On the 17th the main body arrived, 
and five or six towns were destroyed, and about 20,000 bushels of corn in 


the ear cut down. On the 21st the army started on its homeward 
march. Unfortunately, on the next day it was resolved that Col. Hard- 
ing, with a detachment of 340 militia and sixty regulars, should return 
to the burned villages on the supposition that the Indians had returned 
thither. They succeeded in finding the Indians early the next morning. 
A severe engagement ensued; the savages fought with bravery. The 
troops were defeated, many of the militia and most of the regulars being 
killed. Dispirited by this misfortune and dissensions among his officers, 
Harmar returned to Cincinnati. The expedition is known as Harmar's 
defeat. In its purpose of intimidating the Indians it was entirely un- 
successful, but in its object in destroying the Miami villages it was com- 
pletely successful. The towns were taken and 300 houses and wigwams 
barned without the loss of an American soldier. The subsequent efforts 
to defeat the savages in battle were unsuccessful. The Indians looked 
upon the expedition as a failure and defeat, and it was followed by vig- 
orous efforts on their part to harass and break up the American settle- 
ments. To carry out their purposes more effectually. Little Turtle, chief 
of the Miamis, Blue Jacket, chief of the Shawnees, and Buckongahelas, 
chief of the Delawares, engaged in forming a confederacy strong enough 
to drive the whites beyond the Ohio. 


The unfortunate expedition of Gen. St. Clair was organized during 
the year 1791. He was instructed by the War Department to march for 
the village at the head of the Maumee, in order to establish a strong and 
permanent military post at that place, and to establish such posts of 
communication between that place and Fort Washington as he should 
judge proper. "The establishment of such a post," said the Secretary 
of War, "is considered as an important object of the campaign, and is 
to take place at all events." September 17, St. Clair, with about 
2,300 men, marched from Ludlow's Station, near Cincinnati. No- 
vember 3, the army arrived at a creek running to the southwest, and 
which was supposed to be the St. Mary's, one of the principal branches 
of the Maumee, but was afterward found to be a branch of the Wabash. 
Early on the morning of November 4, the army was surprised and met 
with a most disastrous defeat. Of the 1,500 men engaged in the battle, 
more than half were either killed or wounded. It was the greatest ca- 
lamity to the disheartened and greatly harassed pioneers of the North- 
west Territory, and the most disastrous defeat of the Americans by the 
Indians. The battle occurred near the Indian line in Mercer County, 
Ohio, the battle-field being afterward known as Fort Recovery. 


Wayne's victory. 
IiD mediately after the defeat the Federal Government took steps to 
raise another large army to operate against the hostile tribes. Nearly 
three years passed, however, before the confederated hostile tribes were 
met by Gen. Anthony Wayne, whose army numbered more than 3,000 
men, well disciplined and finely ofl&cered, 1,600 being mounted volun- 
teer troops from Kentucky, commanded by Gen. Charles Scott, of that 
State. Wayne's decisive victory occurred August 20, 1794, near the 
Maumee Rapids, in Wood County, Ohio. The battle is known as the 
battle of the Fallen Timbers, though sometimes called the battle of the 
Maumee. Had not the Indians, apprised of the approach of the armies 
of St. Clair and Wayne, gone forth from their principal villages to meet 
them, the disastrous defeat of the one and the decisive victory of the 
other would have taken place on the soil of Indiana, and not Ohio. 
Cessation of the long and bloody Indian war followed Wayne's victory, 
and a peace was secured, which continued unbroken until the battle of 
Tippecanoe, sixteen years later. 


Division of the Northwest Territory— Organization of Indiana 
Territory— Condition of the Territory at its Organization— 
The First Governor— Tecumseh and the Prophet— Fear of In- 
dian Hostilities— Battle of Tippecanoe— The Slavery Question 
IN THE Territory— The War of 1812— Indiana Admitted into 
the Union— Progress of the State. 

THE vast extent of the Northwest Territory made the ordinary opera- 
tions of government extremely uncertain, and the efficient action 
of courts almost impossible in the western parts of the Territory. In 
the three western places of holding courts, Vincennes, Cahokia and Kas- 
kaskia, there had been held but one court having criminal jurisdiction in 
the five years from 1795 to 1800. Offenders against justice having no fear 
of punishment, the French settlements became an asylum for the most 
vile and abandoned criminals. A committee of Congress, March 3, 
1800, recommended a division of the territory into two distinct and sep- 
arate governments. Accordingly, May 7, 1800, an act was passed by 
Congress making such division by an act which took eifect from and 


after the succeeding 4th day of July. The western division was called 
Indiana Territory. 

The first boundary of Indiana Territory on the east was not the same 
as the eastern boundary of the State. The ordinance of 1787 provided 
that the middle State which should be formed out of the Northwest Ter- 
ritory, should be bounded on the east by a line drawn due north from 
the mouth of the Great Miami River, and the committee of Congress 
which proposed the division of the territory recommended that the divis- 
ion should be made by this line. The act of Congress, however, made 
the Greenville treaty line, as far as Fort Recovery, the boundary line. 
The line of division was described as "beginning at the Ohio, opposite 
to the mouth of the Kentucky River, and running thence to Fort Re- 
covery, and thence north until it shall intersect the territorial line be- 
tween the United States and Canada. " The Greenville treaty line is found 
marked on some of the maps of Indiana. Fort Recovery was in Darke 
County, Ohio, about one mile east of the State line. When Ohio was 
made a State the line drawn due north from the mouth of the Great 
Miami was made its western boundary, and the lands between this line 
and the Greenville treaty line were attached to Indiana Territory. 


At the time of its organization Indiana Territory comprised a vast 
region almost uninhabited except by savages. The only settlements of 
white men were so widely separated that it was impossible for them to 
contribute to their mutual defense or encouragement. These settlements 
were four^in number. The first was at Clark's Grant, at the falls of the 
Ohio opposite Louisville; the second the old French establishment at 
Vincennes, on the Wabash; the third comprised a series of French vil- 
lages, extending from Kaskaskia, seventy-five miles below the site of St. 
Louis, to Cahokia, five miles below St. Louis; the fourth was Detroit, on 
the Detroit River. The capital was at Vincennes, at this time often 
written Post Vincents. Numerous tribes of warlike Indians were scat- 
tered throughout the northern portion of the Territory, whose hostility to 
the American settlers was inflamed by the intrigues of British agents 
and frequent outrages by American hunters and traders. 

Clark's Grant in Indiana was a reservation by Virginia in her cession 
of the Northwest Territory to satisfy the claims of Gen. Clark and the 
ofiicers and soldiers under his command in the conquest of the British 
posts of Kaskaskia and Vincennes. The quantity of land in the grant 
was stipulated not to exceed 100,000 acres, to be laid off in one tract, the 
length of which was not to exceed double the breadth, and in such place 
on the northwest side of the Ohio, as a majority of the officers should 


choose. The tract was selected and located about the falls of the Ohio, 
and distributed among the claimants according to the laws of Virginia. 
An act of the . Legislature of that State was passed "to establish the 
town of Clarkesville, at the falls of the Ohio, in the county of Illinois," 
by which a board of trustees in whom the title of the town was vested 
in trust. They were directed to sell lots of half an acre each at public 
auction, subject to the condition that the purchaser should within three 
years from the date of sale erect a dwelling-house "twenty feet by eight- 
een, with a brick or stone chimney." The trustees located the town im- 
mediately at the foot of the falls. Its position at the head of keel-boat 
navigation on the lower Ohio was supposed to give it great advantages, 
and it was for a time a rival of Louisville. Jefferson vi lie, at the head 
of the falls, occupied the site of Fort Steuben. Midway between these 
places and on the opposite side of the river was the then unhealthy town 
of Louisville, which, in 1800, contained a population of 359 souls, and 
about 150 houses, a printing office and a postoffice. 

From the falls of the Ohio, settlements spread over Clark's Grant. 
Vincennes, the capital of the Territory, is described by contemporary 
writers at the period of the establishment of the territorial government, 
as a handsome town of about 100 houses, some of which were built of 
freestone. From Cincinnati, settlements extended up the Whitewater 
Valley. On the first Monday in April,^ 1801, the first sale of lands west 
of the Great Miami was held at Cincinnati. In the closing years of 
the last century, before the establishment of a land office for the sale of 
any lands in Indiana, squatters had begun to occupy Government lands 
in the southeastern part. Land offices, at which, lands in Indiana were 
sold, were established by the United States as follows: At Cincinnati, 
May 10, 1800; at Vincennes, March 26, 1804; at Jeffersonville, March 
3, 1807; at Indianapolis and Crawfordsville, March 3, 1819; Fort Wayne, 
May 8, 1822. 

From Cincinnati, the most important town in the eastern division of 
the Northwest Territory, to Vincennes, the capital of Indiana Territory, 
was a laborious journey through the wilderness. A common method of 
making this journey was to embark on the Ohio in a Kentucky boat, 
sometimes called an ark, with horses and provisions, proceed as far as 
the falls, and thence by horseback to the post, more than 100 miles 
unmarked by a vestige of civilization. 


The first governor of Indiana Territory was Capt. William Henry 
Harrison, afterward major-general and President. At the time of his 
appointment he was twenty-seven years old, yet he had already served 


under "Wayne against the Indians as lieutenant, and distinguished him- 
self for bravery; had been the first delegate in Congress from the North- 
west Territory, and had served as secretary of the Territory. As the 
secretary was ex officio lieutenant-governor, he had for a considerable 
time performed the duties of governor of the Territory before its divis- 
ion, Gen. St. Clair, the governor, being rarely in the Territory at that 
time, his residence being in Pennsylvania. When the office of governor 
of the new Territory of Indiana was first proposed to young Harrison, 
he expressed himself as much adverse to accepting it, because he had 
reason to believe that Gov. St. Clair would soon be retired from the gov- 
ernment of the more populous eastern division (now Ohio), and that he 
would be strongly recommended as his successor. It happened, however, 
as Gen. Harrison himself has narrated, that two influential supporters of 
John Adams' administration were desirous of that position,, and by their 
management he became the governor of Indiana Territory. The gov- 
ernors were appointed for three years. Harrison was appointed by Presi- 
dent Adams in 1800; upon the expiration of his term he was reap- 
pointed in 1803 by President Jefferson; in 1806 he was again appointed 
by Jefferson; in 1809 he was reappointed by President Madison, and in 
1812 again appointed by Madison. 

The territorial governors were ex-officio superintendents of Indian 
affairs within their territories. A few months after President Jefferson 
came into office he nominated Gov. Harrison a commissioner to make 
treaties with the Indians, and the nomination was confirmed by the Sen- 
ate. The custom of the Government in treating with the Indians had 
been to appoint two or more persons to represent the Government as com- 
missioners. The reason given by the President for this departure from 
the usual course in the case of Indiana Territory, was that Louisiana 
had been ceded to the French, and the French understood the manage- 
ment of the Indians better than any other nation; that to guard against 
their intrigues it was necessary to form settlements on the Mississippi, 
the lower Ohio, the Wabash and Illinois Rivers, which could only be 
done by extinguishing the Indian titles, and this could not be done at 
once, but by watching opportunities. The President, therefore, did not 
wish to embarrass the governor with a colleague. ^ Thus it was that 
Harrison was the sole representative of the United States in the nego- 
tiations with the Indians by which the Indian title to most of the lands 
of Indiana was extinguished. Gov. Harrison held this important 
commission during the entire period of his government of the Territory. 
He negotiated thirteen treaties, and obtained the cession of over 50,000,- 
000 of acres in the Northwest, more than double the land now included 
in Indiana. 


While acting as commissioner, Harrison was allowed, in addition to 
his pay as governor, $6 per day and his expenses, and he could assume 
the character of Indian commissioner whenever he thought proper. He 
was indeed necessarily almost constantly acting under it. The charges 
he made for pay as commissioner, however, were only for the time actu- 
ally employed in specific negotiation. All the compensation he received 
for these services during the twelve years he held the commission did not 
exceed 13,000. His charge for one important treaty was $44. It is said 
that no man ever disbursed so many and such large sums of public 
treasure with so little difficulty in adjusting his accounts with the Gov- 
ernment as Harrison while governor. United States commissioner and 
superintendent of Indian affairs in Indiana Territory. He wisely 
avoided keeping the public money on hand, and always made his pay- 
ments by drafts on Washington. 

Some of the more important of the early treaties by which the owner- 
ship of Indiana lands was transferred to the United States Government, 
are here mentioned. In the treaty at Greenville, August 3, 1795, only 
a small portion of the lands in the southeastern part of the State was 
included. Septenjber 17, 1802, Gov. Harrison entered into an agree- 
ment at Vincennes with the chiefs of various tribes by which the bounds 
of a tract at that place said to have been given to its founder were settled 
and June 7, 1803, at Fort Wayne, the same chiefs ceded the lands 
about Vincennes to the United States. . Other treaties were concluded at 
Vincennes in August, 1804; at Fort Wayne in September, 1809; at St. 
Mary's in October, 1818, and Tippecanoe in 1832. 


The troubles with the Indians commenced early in the history of the 
Territory. In July, 1801, the governor, referring to the lawless acts of 
vagabond whites, wrote to the United States Government: "All these 
injuries the Indians have hitherto borne with astonishing patience, but 
though they discover no disposition to make war upon the United States, 
I am confident that most of the tribes would eagerly seize any favorable 
.opportunity for that purpose, and should the United States be at war 
with any European nations who are known to the Indians, there would 
probably be a combination of nine-tenths of the northern tribes against 
us, unless some means are made use of to conciliate them." President 
Jefferson did everything in his power to protect the Indians and to 
induce them to cultivate the soil and adopt the arts of civilized life. 
Congress was powerless to prevent the atrocities committed by the worth- 
less white men who are ever found prowling along the verge of civiliza- 
tion. The outrages were deplored by thousands of good men. 


Early in the history of the Territory, Tecuraseh planned his scheme 
of a confederation of all the Indian nations, by which the whites were to 
be restrained in their acquisitions of lands. This remarkable man, the 
most bold and accomplished warrior and diplomatist the tribes of red 
men ever produced, was for much of his active life a resident of Indiana. 
He was born not far from the site of Springfield, Ohio, and belonged to 
the Shawnee nation, his father and his mother being members of differ- 
ent tribes of that extensive people. In 1795 he became a chief. He 
resided in different parts of the Miami country, in what is now Ohio, 
until 1798, when he accepted the invitation of the Delawares, then 
residing in part on White River, Ind., to remove to that region with his 
followers. Here he resided a number of years, and gradually extended 
his influence among the Indians. 

Tecumseh's brother, known in history as the Prophet, was scarcely 
less remarkable a man; he was an orator of great power and a religious 
teacher. About 1804, according to the accounts usually given, the 
brothers began to work in unison on their grand project of uniting all 
the Western Indians in one confederacy. Their avowed objects were 
two-fold: first, the reformation of the savages, whose habits unfitted 
them for continuous and heroic efforts; second, a union which would 
make the purchase of land by the United States impossible without the 
consent of all the tribes, and would give the Indians a strength that 
would be dreaded. In case of war with the whites a simultaneous attack 
could be made upon all the frontier settlements, so that white troops 
could not be sent from one to the aid of another. In 1805, through the 
influence of the Prophet, a large number of Indians collected at Green- 
ville. In 1806 both Tecumseh and the Prophet were at Grreenville, and 
were visited by representatives of many tribes. 


In the spring of 1808 the brothers removed to a tract of land on the 
Tippecanoe, a tributary of the^W abash. Here on a spot probably never 
visited by white men, about 100 miles northwest from Fort Wayne, was 
the Prophet's town, containing about only 130 souls. Representative 
Indians from remote parts here visited the Prophet, who continued his 
efforts to reform his brethren by preaching temperance, depicting the fear- 
ful evils the fire-water of the white men had brought upon them, and 
announcing his commission from the Great Spirit to extricate his red 
children from the utter ruin with which they were menaced. 

Tecumseh traveled from tribe to tribe, strengthening his influence 
and organizing his league. With the enthusiasm of Peter the Hermit 
he journeyed over thousands of miles, visiting remote nations of red 


^ lU^L^ 


men. He visited all the northern tribes on the west bank of the Missis- 
sippi, and upon the Lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan. In 1807 
Gov. Harrison, alarmed at the movements of the two brothers, sent a 
message of inquiry and remonstrance, couched in severe terms. The 
Prophet sent a reply, denying that he had any purpose to rouse the 
tribes to another war. His plan of saving the Indians, he constantly 
asserted, was by reforming them from intemperance, uniting them and 
encouraging industry. In July, 1808, the Prophet went from Tippe- 
canoe to Vincennes, a distance of hundreds of miles, on a pacific mes- 
sage to the governor. He came with a large number of followers, whom 
he frequently harangued in the presence of the governor on the evils of 
war and intemperance. No persuasion of the whites could induce any 
of them to touch intoxicating liquors. The Prophet again declared that 
it was his desire to live in peace with the whites, and called the Great 
Spirit to witness the truth of his declaration. Whether the Prophet 
was a religious fanatic or a vile impostor can never be settled. 

Throughout the year 1809 Tecumseh and the Prophet continued to 
strengthen themselves both openly and secretly. Notwithstanding these 
solemn and repeated declarations of peaceful intentions, the Governor 
suspected their ultimate designs, and was preparing to meet any emer- 
gency. In June, 1809, Tecumseh with about forty followers again vis- 
ited the Governor. The Governor wrote to the Government that suspi 
cions of his guilty intentions were strengthened rather than diminished 
by every interview during this visit of the chief. In September, 1809, 
the Governor met the chiefs of several tribes at Fort Wayne, and pur- 
chased of them moi'e than 3,000,000 acres of land on the Wabash. 
Tecumseh refused to sign the treaty, and threatened death to those who 
did. In the year following he visited the tribes as far south as Tennes- 
see, exhorting them to lay aside sectional jealousies in the hope of pre- 
serving their hunting grounds. 


The Governor stood firm and sent for a few soldiers and organized 
the militia. In July, 1811, the citizens of Vincennes and its vicinity 
met while the legislative council was in session and memorialized the 
President on the subject, not so much for a military force from the Gov- 
ernment as for permission to fight the Indians in their own way. The 
Indians began to prowl through the Wabash Valley. Harrison was 
promised strong re-enforcements, with orders, however, to be backward in 
employing them. On the 1st of August he advised the Secretary of War 
of his plans, which were to again warn the Indians to obey the treaty of 
Greenville, but at the same time to prepare to break up the Prophet's 


establishment, if necessary. Having received his re-enforcements, the 
Governor, as commander, advanced from Vincennes up the Wabash. On 
the 5th of October he was at Terre Haute, where he built Fort Harrison. 
Here one of his sentinels was fired upon. October 31 he was at the 
mouth of the Vermilion River, where he built a block- house. He then 
advanced toward the Prophet's town, still, however, offering peace to 
the Indians. When within a few miles of the Prophet's town Harrison 
was met by the Indian embassadors, who expressed surprise at his ad- 
vancing upon them and said that an answer to the Governor's demands 
upon the Indians had been despatched to him by a Pottawattomie who 
had left two days before to meet him, but had missed him by taking the 
road on the south side of the Wabash. Harrison informed them that he 
had no intention of attacking them until he found that they would not 
comply with his demands. It was agreed that the army should encamp 
for the night and in the morning an interview with the Prophet and his 
chiefs should take place, and in the meantime no hostilities should be 

Before daybreak of the morning the treacherous savages crept upon 
the camp, burst upon the sleeping army like demons, and before the 
light of day was far advanced the battle of Tippecanoe was fought. 
Harrison had risen at a quarter after four o'clock, and the signal for 
calling the men would have been given in two minutes, when the attack 
commenced. Nineteen-twentieths of the men had never been in an 
action. They behaved well, took their places without confusion, under 
an exceedingly severe fire, and fonght with bravery. The camp fires 
affording the enemy the means of taking surer aim, were extinguished. 
With coolness and deliberate valor the white men stood their ground in 
darkness against the ferocity of the savages, until daylight, and then 
routed the red men in vigorous charges. The next day they burned the 
Prophet's town and returned victorious to Vincennes. 

The battle of Tippecanoe was fought on the 7th of November, 18J 1. 
The whites had in this action not more than 700 efficient men — non- 
commissioned officers and privates; the Indians were supposed to have 
had from 700 to 1,000 men. The loss of the whites was 37 killed on 
the field, 25 mortally wounded and 126 wounded; that of the Indians 
about 40 killed on the field, the number of wounded not being known. 
Among the killed were two Kentucky officers, Col. Joseph H. Daviess 
and Col. Owen. The battle-ground was a piece of dry oak land, skirted 
on the west by Barnet Creek, with marshy prairies covered with tall 
grass on the east and west. At the time of the battle Harrison held no 
rank in the army, but as governor he was commander of the Indiana 
militia, and under the authority of the War Department he took com- 


mand of the whole force. The victory made the commander famous, 
and twice, in 1836 and 1840, Indiana cast her electoral vote for "the 
hero of Tippecanoe." 

At the time of the battle Tecumseh was among the southern Indians. 
When on his return he learned that his brother had brought on the 
attack and had been defeated, he was exceedingly angry, and it is 
said reproached the Prophet in the bitterest terms. The defeat had 
destroyed the power of the brothers, and crushed the grand confederacy 
before it was completed. Six months^after the battle the United States 
declared war with England. Tecumseh left Indiana for Fort Maiden, 
in Upper Canada, joined the British standard, participated in several 
engagements against the Americans, and for his bravery and good con- 
duct was made a brigadier-general. He was killed at the battle of the 
Thames, October 5, 1813, in the forty- fourth year of his age. Harrison, 
with whom he had so often conferred, was the commander of the enemy 
against whom he fought in his last battle. 


Before the formation of the State constitution several efforts were 
made to introduce African slavery in a modified form into the Territory 
of Indiana. Slavery had been introduced into the Illinois country by 
the French as early as 1720. The ordinance of 1787 prohibiting slavery 
in the Northwest Territory was a subject of complaint by some, who, by 
memorials to Congress from time to time, made efforts to obtain a sus- 
pension of the restriction for a limited period. The first petition to 
Congress was from four persons in Kaskaskia in 1796, asking that slav- 
ery might be tolerated there. Before the division of the Northwest 
Territory, and while the first territorial Legislature was in session at Cin- 
cinnati in 1799, petitions were presented by Virgiaians, who owned lands 
northwest of the Ohio, asking that they might settle with their slaves 
on their own lands. These petitions were promptly rejected, as the Leg- 
islature had no power to suspend an ordinance of Congress. 

Many of the early settlers of Indiana were -from Virginia, Kentucky 
and other slave States. A large proportion of the population of the 
Territory, while not desiring to make Indiana a slave State, believed 
that a temporary employment of slave labor would greatly encourage 
immigration and promote the growth and improvement of the country. 
Early in 1803 a territorial convention was held at Vincennes to deliber- 
ate on the interests of the Territory. Gov. Harrison was president of 
the convention. A memorial was sent to Congress, together with a letter 
of the pi-esident of the convention, declaring the assent of the people 
of Indiana Territory to a suspension of the clause of the ordinance of 


1787, forbidding slavery. John Randolph, from the committee of Con- 
gress to which this letter and memorial were referred, reported as fol- 
lows, March 2, 1803: 

" That the rapid population of the State of Ohio sufficiently evinces, 
in the opinion of your committee, that the labor of slaves is not necessary 
to promote the growth and settlement of colonies in that region. That 
this labor, demonstrably the dearest of any, can only be employed to 
advantage in the cultivation of products more valuable than any known 
to that quarter of the United States; that the committee deem it highly 
dangerous and inexpedient to impair a provision wisely calculated to 
promote the happiness and prosperity of the northwestern country, and to 
give strength and security to that extensive frontier. In the salutary 
operation of this sagacious and benevolent restraint, it is believed that 
the people of Indiana will, at no very distant day, find ample remuner- 
ation for a temporary privation of labor and of immigration." 

This report was made at the close of the session, and the subject was 
brought up again at the next session. The report, together with the let- 
ter of Gov. Harrison, and the memorial of the inhabitants of Indiana, 
was referred to a new committee, of which Csesar Rodney, of Delaware, 
was chairman. This committee, February 17, 1804, made a report in 
favor of the prayer of the memorial, and offered the following resolution: 

" Resolved, that the sixth article of the Ordinance of 1787, which pro- 
hibited slavery within the said Territory, be suspended in a qualified 
manner for ten years, so as to permit the introduction of slaves born in 
the United States, from any of the individual States; provided that such 
individual State does not permit the importation of slaves from foreign 
countries. And provided, further, that the descendants of all such 
slaves shall, if males, be free at the age of twenty-five years, and if 
females, at the age of twenty-one years." 

This resolution failed to pass, and the subject came up again in Feb- 
ruary, 1806, when another report was made in Congress in favor of the tem- 
porary suspension of the prohibition of slavery, on the ground that the 
people of Indiana universally desired such suspension. At the session of 
the Legislature of Indiana Territory, in the winter of 1806-07, resolutions 
on the subject were adopted and presented to Congress. Another com- 
mittee of Congress reported in favor of the suspension of the slavery 
clause of the ordinance for ten years, but the measure was again lost. 
A committee of the United States Senate reported, November 13, 1807, 
that it was not expedient to grant the request of the Indiana Legislature. 

To avoid the restriction in the ordinance against slavery, the Terri- 
torial Legislature passed an act, September 17, 1807, entitled "An Act 
concerning the introduction of negroes and mulattoes into this Territory." 


It legalized the introduction into the TeiTitory of persons of color, who 
were slaves in the States or Territories, by requiring the owner or posses- 
sor to enter into indentures with his slave, the latter stipulating to serve 
as an indentured servant for a certain period, at the end of which he was 
to become free. A record of the indenture was'required to be made in 
the Court of Common Pleas within thirty days after the introduction of 
the slave or slaves. Children under fifteen years of age were required to 
serve their former owner or possessor, if males, until the age of thirty- 
five years; if females, until the age of thirty-two years. Many slave- 
holders in Virginia, Kentucky, and other slave States, desiring to man- 
umit their slaves, migrated to Indiana and availed themselves of the priv- 
ileges of this law. In Indiana, slaves before the expiration of their term 
of servitude, were termed under the law "indentured servants."^ This 
form of servitude was done away with in Indiana by judical decisions, 
and in Illinois by a clause in the State constitution. Had it not been for 
the firmness of Congress, in resisting what seemed to be a popular demand, 
Indiana might have been a slave State. The demand that slave-holders, 
who owned land in Indiana, should be permitted to employ their slaves 
in clearing the forests from their own land, seemed just and reasonable 
to many persons who were not in favor of the extension of slavery. 

THE WAR OF 1812. 

At the commencement of the war of 1812, Indiana Territory had a 
white population of about 30,000 souls, chiefly in the southern portions 
of the Territory. All the settlements in Indiana, as well as those in Ohio, 
Kentucky, Michigan and Illinois, were much exposed to Indian depreda- 
tions. The Government had hesitated to employ force against the Indians 
in Indiana, lest all the tribes of the Northwest should be combined 
against the United States in case of a war with England, which was 
imminent. Although Gov. Harrison wrote a few months after the battle 
of Tippecanoe, " The frontiers never enjoyed more perfect security," yet 
as soon as hostilities between the United States and England commenced, 
there were gloomy fears of the Indians all along the western frontiers, 
which rose to universal consternation when the intelligence was spread 
abroad that the whole of our army under Hull, with Detroit and Michigan, 
had been surrendered to the combined British forces, commanded by 
Brock and Tecumseh, leaving our entire outposts in the Northwest almost 
defenseless. Three points needed protection, Fort Wayne and the Mau- 
mee, the Wabash, and the Illinois. The troops intended for Fort Wayne 
were to be put under Gen. Winchester, a Revolutionary ofiicer residing 
in Tennessee, but little known to the frontier men; those for the Wabash 
were to be under Harrison, whom the battle of Tippecanoe had given a 


military reputation in the West; those for the Illinois were to be under 
Edwards, governor of Illinois Territory. Such were the intentions of 
the Government, but the action of the authorities of Kentucky frustrated 
them and fortunately led to the elevation of the governor of Indiana to 
the post of commander-in-chief of all the forces of the West and North- 

Gov. Harrison while at Cincinnati received from Gov. Scott a re- 
quest to repair without delay to Frankfort. Arriving at the capital of 
Kentucky, he found a large number of influential citizens of Kentucky 
assembled, some to witness the inauguration of Gov. Shelby, and others 
by invitation of Gov. Scott, the retiring governor. A grand council 
had been held upon the course to be adopted for the defense of the 
Northwestern frontier, and it had been determined to request Gov. 
Harrison to take command of the troops on the march and to appoint 
him a major-general in the Kentucky militia. He accepted the com- 
mission, took the oath required by the laws of Kentucky, and in a few 
hours was on horseback to overtake the troops and assume command. 
Gen. Harrison afterward said that he looked upon this as the most hon- 
orable appointment he had ever received. A great State, already 
distinguished for the talents of her sons, some of whom were Rev- 
olutionary officers, placed the governor of another Territory in com- 
mand of her troops for a difficult and dangerous expedition. Sep- 
tember 17, 1812, Harrison was appointed by the Government com- 
mander of the Army of the West, 

After the surrender of Detroit and Fort Dearborn on the site of Chi- 
cago, Forts Wayne and Harrison, in Indiana, were the only military 
stations on the Northwestern frontier in the hands of the Americans. 
These were re- enforced. The defeat of Hull and the victories of the 
British and Indians in the Northwest awakened throughout Indiana, 
Ohio and Kentucky a determination to wipe out the disgrace which had 
stained our arms, and to avert the desolation that threatened the 
frontier. In August several regiments which had been raised in Ken- 
tucky were directed to the aid of Indiana and Illinois. Vincennes was 
made the principal rendezvous, and Gen. Hopkins was appointed com- 
mander of the troops on the Wabash. It was arranged that Gen. 
Hopkins, with between 4,000 and 5,000 mounted riflemen, should 
move up the Wabash to Fort Harrison, cross over to the Illinois country, 
destroy all the Indian villages on the Wabash, march across the prairies 
to the head-waters of the Sangamon and Vermillion Rivers, and then 
form a junction with the Illinois rangers under Gov. Edwards, and 
sweep over the villages on the Illinois River. September 29, Hop- 
kins wrote to the governor of Kentucky: "My present intention is to 


attack every Indian settlement on the Wabash, and to destroy their 
property, then fall back upon the Illinois, and I trust, in all the next 
month, to perform much service. Serious opposition I hardly appre- 
hend, although I intend to bo prepared for it." In accordance with his 
determination, Hopkins set out from Fort Harrison with his raw militia- 
men October 15, and marched some eighty or ninety miles in the 
Indian country without obtaining sight of the enemy, when he was com- 
pelled to return on account of insubordination among his men and some 
of the officers. 

Deeply chagrined at the failure of his expedition, Gen. Hopkins did 
not return to Kentucky, but remained at Fort Harrison to await the rais- 
ing of another and better disciplined army. On the 11th of November he 
set out from Fort Harrison with about 1,200 men on an expedition against 
the Indians of the tipper Wabash. Lieut. -Col. Butler, with seven boats 
loaded with supplies and provisions, at the same time ascended the 
river. On the 19th the army arrived at the Prophet's town, and 300 
men were sent to surprise the Indian towns on Ponce Passu Creek, but 
the villages were found evacuated. On the 20th, a Kickapoo town con- 
taining 120 cabins was burned, and all the winter provisions of corn in 
the vicinity destroyed. The cold weather of winter was rapidly coming 
on, many of the men were, as the General said, "shoeless and shirtless," 
and as the ice in the river began to obstruct the passage, it was deemed 
prudent to return. The conduct of this detachment contrasts favorably 
with Hopkins' first army. 

The military system under which the war of 1812 was carried on 
would by no means have answered the purposes of the Government in 
the greater war of the Rebellion. The terms of service for which the 
men were called out were generally short, not exceeding six mouths. 
In many cases the raw militiamen had scarcely learned to drill as soldiers 
when their term of service expired, and they were succeeded by fresh, 
untrained recruits. The West, and especially the region of the Maumee 
and Lake Erie, was the principal theater of the war. In many parts of 
the United States there was much opposition to the war, but the pioneers 
of Indiana Territory were enthusiastically in favor of the declaration of 
war and its vigorous prosecution. Although the population was Dot 
large, in every vicissitude of the contest the conduct of the people of 
Indiana was patriotic and honorable. They volunteered with alacrity, 
and endured the hardships of the campaigns on the swamps of the Mau- 
mee and the St. Mary's with patience and cheerfulness. 


Peace was made with Great Britain by the treaty at Ghent, December 
24, 1814. The Indians, deprived of their British ally, and having lost 


their great leader, Tecumseli, renounced all hope of arresting the advance 
of the white man. Tribe after tribe during the year 1815 entered into 
treaties of peace with the United States, and acknowledged themselves 
under the protection of the Government. Confidence was restored to the 
frontier settlements, and immigration again began to push into the forests 
and prairies. The campaigns of the rangers and mounted infantry, who 
had traversed the rich and delightful lands along the Wabash, the San- 
gamon and the Illinois, served as explorations of new and fertile countries, 
and opened the way to thousands of pioneers and the formation of new 
settlements. Although large numbers passed westward to the prairies of 
Illinois, yet Indiana retained a large share of the rapid immigration. 
Prom 1810 to 1820 Indiana increased in population from 24,520 to 
147,178, an increase of 500 per cent, a rate of growth at that time unex- 
ampled in the growth of American States. 

In December, 1815, one year after the close of the war, the Territorial 
Legislature petitioned Congress for the privilege of forming a State con- 
stitution and admission into the Union. A bill for these purposes was 
passed in April, 1816; soon after a convention met at Corydon, and 
June 29, adopted the first constitution of Indiana. This constitution 
was formed at a time when there was a lull of party violence, and when 
the era of political good feeling prevailed. December 11, 1816, the 
State was admitted as a sovereign member of the Union. Jonathan Jen- 
nings, who had represented the Territory as delegate in Congress, and 
had presided over the convention which formed the constitution, was the 
first governor. In January, 1821, the Legislature located the seat of 
government at Indianapolis, and at the same time appointed commis- 
sioners to lay out a town at the site selected, and gave it its present 
name, formed by adding the Greek word polls, meaning a city, to the 
name of the State. 

In the decade from 1820 to 1830 the sales of government lands in the 
State were rapid,amounting to more than 3,500,000 acres ; and the population 
increased 133 per cent. From 1830 to 1840 the population was doubled. 
In 1833 the Wabash & Erie Canal was commenced; in 1834 the State 
Bank, with ten branches, was incorporated The result of these under- 
takings, and others into which the State entered, was a debt of over 
$14,000,000 and a general bankruptcy, which retarded the progress and 
development of the State. In 1846 measures were taken to pay the 
accumulated interest on the State debt; in 1850 a new constitution was 
adopted, and soon the whole economy of the State was changed and pros- 
perity returned. The State is the smallest of the Western States, hav- 
ing an area of 33,809 square miles, but in population it ranks sixth in the 
members of the Union. 





Location of Indian.Tribes in Indiana-Little Turtle Quoted-Thb 
Miami Tribe— Indian Villages— Indian Agriculture— Moral and 
Intellectual Character of the Indians-Antoine Gamelin's 
Journey— Indians Demand the Ohio for their Boundary. 

THE Indian tribes resident within the bounds of Indiana when the 
first settlements by the whites were commenced were theMiamis, the 
Shawnees, the Delawares, the Wyandq^j^d_Pottawatomies. The Weas, 
Eel Eivers, and Piankashaws, also found in the State, were really 
branches of the Miamis. In the treaty at Greenville Gen. Wayne rec- 
ognized the Weas and Eel Rivers as distinct tribes from the Miamis in 
order that they might receive a large share of the money which was stip- 
ulated to be paid by the United States. Gen. Wayne thought it just 
that the Miamis and thei/allied tribes should receive more of the annui- 
ties promised by the Government than they would be entitled to as a 
single tribe, because he recognized it as a fact that the country ceded by 
the treaty was_really their property. The Indians were so frequently at 
war with each other and so often moved from one region to another that 
it is difficult to locate them and impossible to fix definite bounds to their 
possessions. According to the map of Indiana giving the Indian names 
of rivers, towns, etc., prepared by the late Daniel Hough, of Wayne 
County, and published in the Indiana geological report of 1882, the 
northern portion of the State is assigned to JhePottawattomies; the Wa- 
bash and Maumee Valleys to the Miamis; the head-waters of both 
branches to Whi te River to the Delawares; the southeastern part of the 
State along the Ohio to the Shawnees, and west of them the Wyandots. 
Of these tribes the Miamis were at one time by far the most numer- 
ous and powerful. Their territory embraced all of Ohio west of the 
Scioto, all of Indiana and part of Illinois. They had numerous villages 
on the Scioto, the head-waters of the two Miamis, the Maumee and 
throughout the whole course of the Wabash as far down as the town of 
Brushwood, now Vincennes. Before the arrival of the whites west of 
the mountains, it is believed that the Miamis could assemble a larger 
number of warriors than any other aboriginal nation of North America. 


The ravages of the small-pox liad largely reduced their numbers befor e 
the commencement of the Revolutionary war. 

Little Turtle, the famous Miami chief, during the negotiations which 
preceded the treaty of Greenville, spoke with pride and yet with sadness 
of the former greatness and dominion of his tribe. His words are pre- 
served in the American State Papers: 

"I hope you will pay attention to what I now say to you. You have 
pointed out to us the boundary line between the Indians and the United 
States; but I now take the liberty to inform you, that that line cuts off 
from the Indians a large portion of country which has been enjoyed by 
my forefathers time immemorial, without molestation or dispute. The 
prints of my ancestors' houses are everywhere to be seen in this portion. 
It is well known to all my brothers present that my forefather kindled the 
first fire at Detroit; from thence he extended his lines to the head-waters 
of the Scioto; from thence to its mouth; from thence down the Ohio to the 
mouth of the Wabash; from thence to Chicago on Lake Michigan, At 
this place I first saw my elder brothers, the Shawnees. I have now in- 
formed you of the boundaries of the Miami nation, where the Great 
Spirit placed my forefather a long time ago, and charged him not to sell 
or part with his lands, but to preserve them for his posterity. This 
charge has been handed down to me. I was surprised to find my other 
brothers differed so much from me on this subject; for their conduct 
would lead one to suppose that the Great Spirit and their forefathers 
had not given them the charge that was given tome; but on the contrary 
had directed them to sell their lands to any white man who wore a hat, 
as soon as he should ask it of them. " 

Little Turtle took pride in the antiquity of his race, as well as in the 
extent of territoiV controlled by his ancestors. In 1797 this Miami 
chief met Volney in Philadelphia. The French philosopher explained 
to the savage orator the theory that the Indian race had descended from 
the dark-skinned Tartars, and, by a map, showed the supposed communi- 
cation between Asia and America. Little Turtle replied: "Why should 
not these Tartars, who resemble us, have descended from the Indians ?" 


Long before the first settlements of the English-speaking whites in 
Indiana, the habits of the Indians had been modified by their contact 
with the Europeans. The traders had supplied them with firearms, 
scalping-knives and iron tomahawks. They had iron pots and brass ket- 
tles for cooking and sugar making. They had learned to like strong 
drink, and were given to great excesses in eating and drinking. Many 
of the inhabitants of some of their more important villages were French. 


The Wea Prairie, or plains, a few miles, below the mouth of Wea 
Creek, and not far from the site of Lafayette, contained some of the most 
extensive improvements ever made by the Indians within the limits of 
the State. On the opposite side of the Wabash was the Indian town 
Ouiatenon, or Wah-wee-ah -tenon in the Indian tongue. When it was 
destroyed by Col. Wilkinson in 1791, he found there a number of French 
books, letters and documents, showing that the place was in close con 
flection with Detroit. For richness of soil and beauty of natural scenery, 
few places in the West can compare with the Wea Plains. 

The town of Tippecanoe, or Kathtippacamunck, on the north side of 
the Wabash, at the mouth of the Tippecanoe, was also a celebrated Indi- 
an place. In 1791 the village consisted of about 120 houses, eighty of 
which were shingle-roofed. The best houses belonged to the French 
traders, whose gardens and improvements around the town are described 
as delightful, and indeed not a little wonderful. There was a tavern 
with cellars, bar and public and private rooms; the whole was marked 
by considerable order, and evinced a small degree of civilization. The 
town of the Eel River tribe was scattered along the Eel River for about 
three miles, on an uneven, scrubby oak barren, intersected alternately 
with bogs almost impenetrable, and impervious thickets of plum, hazel 
and black-jack. Col. Wilkinson found the head chief at this place guard- 
ing a number of prisoners, and families at work digging a root which they 
substituted in place of the potato. 


The agriculture of the Indians in Indiana, as well as in most other 
parts of North America, was confined chiefly to the growing of corn and 
beans, to which potatoes were afterward added. The extent of their 
corn-fields on the Wabash and the Maumeewas greater than is generally 
supposed. A journal of Gen. Wayne's campaign, kept by George Will, 
under the date of August 8, 1794, says: "We have marched four or five 
miles in corn-fields down the Auglaise, and there are not less than 1,000 
acres of corn around the town." The same journal describes the im- 
mense corn-fields, numerous vegetable patches and old apple trees found 
along the banks of the Maumee from its mouth to Fort Wayne, and dis- 
closes the fact that the army obtained its bread and vegetables for eight 
days, while building Fort Defiance, from the surrounding corn and po- 
tato fields. 

One of the chief objects of the military expedition against the Indian 
villages was the destruction of their corn, which would compel the war- 
riors to devote more of their time to hunting as a means of subsistence, 
and thus prevent marauding expeditions against the white settlements. 


Gen. Harmar, in his unsuccessful expedition in 1790, burned and destroyed 
nearly 20,000 bushels of corn in the vicinity of Fort Wayne. Gen. 
Charles Scott, in his expedition against the Wabash Indians, destroyed 
a considerable amount of corn about the 1st of June, 1791. In August 
of the same year, Col. Wilkinson, who marched against the same vil- 
lages, found that the Indians had replanted their corn, and it was in high 
cultivation, several fields being well plowed, Wilkinson reported that 
besides burning a respectable Kickapoo village he had cut down at least 
430 acres of corn, chiefly in the milk, and that the Indians, left without 
houses, home or provisions, must cease to war, and would find active em- 
ployment in subsisting their squaws and children during the coming 


Gen. William H. Harrison speaks of the moral and . intellectual 
qualities of the Indians of the Northwest in his discourse before the 
Ohio Historical and Philosophical Society on the "Aborigines of the 
Ohio Valley," as follows: 

"The Wyandots, Delawares, Shawn ees and Miamis were much su- 
perior to the other members of the confederacy. The Little Turtle, of 
the Miami tribe, was one of this description, as was the Blue Jacket, a 
Shawnee chief. I think it probable that Tecumseh possessed more in- 
tegrity than any other of the chiefs who attained to much distinction; 
but he violated a solemn engagement, which he had freely contracted, 
and there are strong suspicions of his having formed a treacherous de- 
sign, which an accident only prevented him from accomplishing. Sim- 
ilar instances are, however, to be found in the conduct of great men in 
the history of almost all civilized nations. But these instances are 
more than counterbalanced by the number of individuals of high moral 
character which were to be found among the principal and secondary 
chiefs of the four tribes above mentioned. This was particularly the 
ease with Tarhe, or the Crane, the great sachem of the Wyandots, and 
Black Hoof, the chief of the Shawnees. Many instances might be ad- 
duced to show the possession on the part of these men of an uncommon 
degree of disinterestedness and magnanimity, and strict performance of 
their engagements under circumstances which would be considered by 
many as justifying evasion. 

"By many they are supposed to be stoics, who willingly encounter 
deprivations. The very reverse is the fact. If they belong to either of 
the classes of philosophers which prevailed in the declining ages of 
Greece and Rome, it is to that of the Epicureans. For no Indian will 
forego an enjoyment or sufifer an inconvenience if he can avoid it, but 
under peculiar circumstances, when, for instance, he is stimulated by 



Rome strong passion. But even the gratification of this he is ready to 
postpone whenever its accomplishment is attended with unlooked-for 
danger or unexpected hardships. Hence their military operations were 
always feeble, their expeditions few and far between, and much the 
greater number abandoned without an "efficient stroke, from whim, 
caprice, or an aversion to encounter difficulties." He adds-. "When, 
however, evil comes which he cannot avoid, then he will call up all the 
spirit of the man, and meet his fate, however hard, like the best Roman 
of them all." 

antoine'^'gamelin's journey. 
While Gov. St. Clair was engaged in organizing the western counties 
of the Northwest Territory, in 1790, he made a praisworthy efifort to con- 
ciliate the hostile tribes on the Wabash. Antoine Gamelin, an intelli- 
gent French merchant of Vincennes, was employed to carry the 
messages of the Government to the Indians, and to ascertain their dis- 
position and sentiments. Antoine traveled across the State and visited 
all the tribes along the Wabash and as far east as the junction of the 
St. Joseph and St. Mary's, at the site of Fort Wayne. His journal, 
which fortunately has been preserved, gives much information concern- 
ing the Indians of Indiana in the earlier period of the history of the 
Northwest Territory. 

Setting out from Vincennes, April 5, 1790, the first Indian village 
he arrived at was called Kickapougoi, inhabited by a tribe then peace- 
ably disposed toward the whites. The second village he found was at the 
river Vermillion, and inhabited by the Piankeshaws, who looked upon 
the Mi amis as their elder brethren, and could not give an answer to the 
message until they had consulted that nation. On the lUh of April, 
Gamelin arrived at a tribe of the Kickapoos, who also regarded the 
Miamis as their elder brethren. On the 18th he arrived at Eel River. 
The village of Eel River Indians stood about six miles above the junc- 
tion of that stream with the Wabash. The chief of this tribe was 
absent, and no answer to the message could be obtained. On the 23d 
of April he arrived at the great village of the Miamis, at the site of 
Fort Wayne. The chief of the Miamis at this time was called LeGris. 
At this place were both French and English traders. While Gamelin 
remained five Pottawattomies arrived with two negro men, whom they 
sold to the English traders. Blue Jacket, the great warrior chief of the 
Shawnees, was at the Miami town. Both LeGris and Blue Jacket were 
disposed to insist that the Ohio River should be made the Indian bound- 
ary, and the report of Gamelin was unfavorable for the maintenance of 



The Indians of the Wabash and Maumee were hostile to the formation 
of the earlier settlements northwest of the Ohio, and made incursions 
upon the whites along the Ohio in what is now the State of Ohio, and 
often passed into Kentucky on expeditions of plunder and murder. 
These Indians were united in claiming that the whites had no rights to 
any lands northwest of the Ohio; that the treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768 
made the Ohio River the boundary, and they refused to regard the 
treaties of Fort Mackintosh in 1785, and Fort Harmar in 1789, as bind- 
ing, because not ratified by all the tribes. 

In 1793 President Washington instructed the commissioners appointed 
by him to negotiate a treaty of peace with the Northwestern Indians, to 
use every effort to obtain a confirmation of the boundary line established 
at Fort Harmar, and to offer in payment $50,000 in hand, and an annuity 
of $10,000 forever. The Indians refused the money, claimed that the 
treaties already made were void because not sanctioned by all the tribes, 
demanded that the Ohio River should be considered the boundary, and 
that every white settlement should be removed from the Northwest 
Territory. The paper containing these views of the Indians was signed 
by the chiefs of the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawn ees, Miamis, Mingoes, 
Pottawattomies, Ottawas, Connoys, Chippewas and Munsees. 

The commissioners explained to them that the United States Govern- 
ment had sold large tracts of land northwest of the Ohio, and that the 
white settlements and improvements were numerous, and had cost much 
money and labor, and could not be given up; but the Government was 
willing to pay a larger sum in money and goods than had been given at 
any one time for Indian lands since the whites first set their feet on this 
continent. The Indians gave as their final reply: 

"Money is of no value to us, and to most of us is unknown. As no 
consideration whatever can induce us to sell the lands on which we get 
sustenance for our women and children, we hope we may be allowed to 
point out a mode by which your settlers may be easily removed, and 
peace thereby obtained. 

"We know these settlers are poor, or they never would have ventured 
to live in a country which has been in continual trouble since they crossed 
the Ohio. Divide, therefore, this large sum of money which you have 
offered to us among these people. Give to each, also, a proportion of 
what you say you will give to us annually over and above this large sum 
of money, and, we are persuaded, they will most readily accept it in lieu 
of the land you sold them. If you add, also, the great sums you must 
expend in raising and paying armies with a view to force us to yield you 


our country, you will certainly have more than sufficient for the purpose 
of repaying these settlers for all their labor and their improvements. 

"We shall be persuaded that you mean to do us justice if you agree 
that the Ohio shall remain the boundary line betw^een us. If you will 
not consent thereto, our further meeting will be altogether unneces- 
sary. " 

The ^commissioners on the part of the Government said " That they 
had already explicitly declared to them that it was now impossible to 
make the Ohio River the line between their lands and the lands of the 
United States. Your answer amounts to a declaration that you will 
agree to no other boundary than the Ohio. The negotiation is therefore 
at an end." 

Nothing remained for the Government but a vigorous prosecution of 
the war. The Indians were defeated by Gen. Wayne in August, 1794, 
and in August, 1795, a treaty of peace was ratified by all the tribes. 
The treaty of Greenville was the first one since that of Fort Stanwix, 
which was regarded as binding upon the Indian confederacy. It was 
observed by them in good faith, and there was no further war between 
the red men and the whites until the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. 




Arch^ological Work > IN Southeast Indiana— Purpose of Mounds— 
Their Age— Gen. Harrison on the Ancient Fort at the Mouth of 
THE Great Miami— Signal Stations— Open-air Work-shops— An- 
cient Fire-places— Stone Utensils, Weapons and Ornaments- 
Trade OR Traffic Among the Pre-historic Races. 

INTERESTING archseological remains are found throughout southeast 
Indiana. They are the traces of a people who inhabited the basins 
of the Mississippi and the Ohio in the distant past. Their elaborate and 
extensive earthworks prove that they were not nomadic tribes, but a 
numerous people, dwelling in fixed communities, probably devoted to 
agriculture, and having certain fixed laws, customs and religious rites. 
Some of these works required an immense amount of labor and consider- 
able engineering skill. What race of people built these remarkable 
works we shall probably never know, and in the absence of positive 
knowledge, there origin is referred to a people called the Mound-Builders. 

It cannot be said that any law governing the arrangement of either 
the tumuli or fortifications has been discovered. Both appear to be more 
numerous along the rivers than elsewhere. It has been thought by some 
writers that the archaeology of the Miamis has for its distinguishing 
feature a system of strong fortifications along the two rivers, and that 
the numerous mounds on the headlands and interior points may have 
been signal stations, commanding the whole region and binding the 
country together as the seat of one united nation. A more common view 
is that the mounds were places of sepulture and memorials raised over 
the dead, the largest mounds being erected in honor of distinguished 
personages. The notion that they contain the remains of vast heaps of 
dead fallen in great battles is wholly unsupported by the facts obtained 
from excavations and examinations. But one or two skeletons are usually 
iound in these mounds, and where many are found it is probable that 
the later Indians, and, in some cases, Europeans, have buried their dead 
in them. 

The New American Cyclopedia assumes, from facts and circumstances 
deemed sufficient to enable us to arrive at approximate conclusions con- 
cerning the antiquity of the Mound-Builders' records, that we may infer, 


for most of these monuments in the Mississippi Valley, an age of not less 
than two thousand years. "By whom built, whether their authors 
migrated to remote lands under the combined attractions of a more fer- 
tile soil and more genial clime, or whether they disappeared beneath the 
victorious arms of an alien race, or were swept out of existence by some 
direful epidemic or, universal famine, are questions probably beyond the 
power of human investigations to answer. History is silent concerning 
them and their very name is lost to tradition itself." 

Extensive pre-historic forts and mounds are found on both sides of 
the Great Miami, near its mouth, which have been accurately platted by 
Samuel Morrison. Gen. William H. Harrison took a deep interest in 
these works. "The work at the mouth of the Great Miami," he wrote, 
"was a citadel, more elevated than the Acropolis of Athens, although 
easier of access, as it is not like the latter, a solid rock, but on three 
sides as nearly perpendicular as could be, composed of earth. A large 
space of lower ground was, however, enclosed by walls uniting it with 
the Ohio. The foundation of that (being of stone, as well as those of 
the citadel) that forms the western defense, is still very visible where 
it crosses the Miami, which, at the period of its erection, must have dis- 
charged itself into the Ohio much lower down than it now does. I have 
never been able to discover the eastern wall of this enclosure, but if its 
direction from the citadel to the Ohio was such as it should have been, 
to embrace the largest space with the least labor, there would not have 
been less than 300 acres enclosed. The same land at this day, under 
the best cultivation, will produce from seventy to 100 bushels of corn 
per acre. Under such as was then probably bestowed upon it, there 
would be much less, but still enough to contribute to the support of a 
considerable settlement of people, remarkable beyond all others for ab- 
stemiousness in their diet. 

Gen. Harrison did not believe the work at the mouth of the Great 
Miami and the one at Circleville could have been erected by the same 
people if both were intended for military purposes. "The square at 
Circleville," he says, "has such a number of gateways as seem intended 
to facilitate the entrance of those who would attack it. And both it and 
the circle were completely commanded by the mound, rendering it an 
easier matter to take than defend it. The engineers, on the contrary, 
who directed the execution of the Miami works, appear to have known 
the importance of flank defenses. If their bastions are not as perfect, 
as to form, as those in use in modern engineering, their position, as well 
as that of the long lines of curtains, is precisely as it should be." 

Dr. J. W. Baxter, of Vevay, gives the following account of a series 
of mounds, or signal stations, occupying prominent points along the 


Ohio River, and so located that each may be seen from the next above 
and below. These command nearly the whole bottom. From the sta- 
tion below Patriot the observer may look across Gallatin County, Ky., 
and the valley of Eagle Creek to the height of land in Owen County. 
Both this mound and one near Rising Sun exhibit traces of fires that 
may have been used as telegraphic signals by the Mound-Bailders. The 
mounds at the following pl-dces form a complete series, though others 
may have been used when the country was timbered: Rising Sun, near 
Gunpowder Creek, Ky. ; the Dibble Farm, two miles south of Patriot; 
the "North Hill," below Warsaw, Ky. ; the Taylor Farm, below Log 
Lick Creek; opposite Carrollton, Ky. ; below Carrollton. 

There are a number of mounds in the vicinity of Aurora, and quite a 
large mound was within the city limits, but has been almost entirely re- 
moved by cutting a street- way through it. Dr. George Sutton, of Au- 
rora, has a large and interesting collection of ancient stone implements, 
which he collected from this county and from Kentucky. 

J. B. Gerard, M. D., in connection with others, opened a mound 
near the mouth of Laughery Creek, in Ohio County, which was about 
100 feet in diameter and fifteen feet high; excavations were made at 
several places, and they found human bones, one whole earthen pot, and 
a great many fragments of pottery. Mr. Stratton also found a whole pofc 
in this mound, and still another was found by H. C. Miller. Dr. Ge- 
rard has noticed from twenty to thirty mounds along the bluffs of 
Laughery Creek, and has opened a number of others, but found nothing 
of note except ashes, which lay at the base of them all. 

Dr. George W. Homsher, of Fairfield, Ind., in a paper on the 
"Ancient Remains on Whitewater River," in the Smithsonian Report of 
18S2, describes what he terms "open-air woi'kshops " situated in 
the valleys along the Whitewater. Their location is indicated by a vast 
amount of broken cobble-stones or chert. From the fragments it is easy 
to determine the kind of implement which was manufactured, whether 
axe, celt, pestle, hammer, arrow or ornament. These workshops, as a 
general rule, are located on the second terrace formation along the river 
or the larger streams flowing into the river, and in close proximity with 
each shop is an excellent spring of water. There is also in close prox- 
imity to the workshop a signal mound or station, located on the highest 
hill or bluff along the river. One of the most famous of these workshops 
is situated about 500 yards northwest of Quakertown, and covers about 
two and a half acres. At least half a wagon load of ancient implements 
have been gathered here, and yet additional ones are still found. Dr. 
Homsher locates about a dozen open-air work-shops along the Whitewater. 
The same writer maintains that sigfnal mounds in some instances 


have been converted into burial mounds, probably after their abandon- 
ment as signal stations. " In signal mounds," he says, " there is only 
one spot, and that in the center, that shows the action of fire, and 
when it has served its purpose it is built up in a cone shape and aban- 
doned. In case it is converted into a burial mound the fire has been 
extinguished, the surface leveled, the dead deposited, and again another 
layer of clay or whatever material is used in its construction, is symmet- 
rically laid over the dead to the depth of six to eighteen inches. 
Over the whole surface a fire once more is started, the object 
being to burn the clay or harden it, so that the water will not permeate 
it so readily as it does unburnt clay. In doing this there is no fear of 
destroying the objects deposited below. Sometimes where a limb has 
not been sufficiently covered it has been charred, which accounts for that 
part of the subject we oftentimes find in these tumuli that are mutilated 
and attributed to cremation." 

It is said that a greater number of wild grapes, plums, crab-apples 
and onions are found growing near the mounds in southeast Indiana than 
at a distance from them. 

In the Ohio River terraces are found some antiquarian remains. In 
the bottom below the mouth of Laughery Creek, are the remains of 
what are called ancient fire-places, which are disclosed from time to time 
as the river wears away the bank. R. H. Warder examined one which 
" consisted of a layer of boulders thirteen feet from the surface. The 
part exposed was three feet across. Pieces of charcoal, soft aud crumb- 
ling, were found among and under the boulders, while other pieces, 
that had fallen out and dried in the sunshine, were firm. The clay under 
the boulders was red as though burnt. No one could examine the section 
without being convinced of human agency in the work." 

In the river bank opposite Florence, there is a layer of decomposing 
mussel shells, thirty- two inches below the surface. The out-crop now 
extends forty feet, was noticed as early as 1847, when the bank stood 
two or three rods nearer the channel than it now does. Similar 
deposits have been observed elsewhere in the river terraces. 

Among the most interesting archaeological relics are the utensils, 
implements, weapons and personal ornaments of pre-historic times. It 
should be borne in mind that, while most writers on American antiquities 
make a distinction between the Mound -Builders and the tribes the whites 
found in possession of the country, such a line of demarkation cannot 
well be drawn with accuracy with respect to the stone, flint and copper 
relics. Some of these relics may belong to a pre-historic race of the 
distant past, some to the earliest Indian tribes inhabiting the country, 
and others to later Indians, whose mechanical arts may have been modi- 


fied by contact and trade with the whites. It is, therefore, impossible 
to separate the relics of the Mound-Builders from those of the later 
races. We cannot refer the copper implements to any particular epoch, 
nor can we determine when the stone age began or ended. Stone imple- 
ments have been found associated with the remains of animals long 
since extinct, yet these implements are not different from those known to 
have been in use among the savage tribes when first seen by the whites. 
With respect to the purposes for which they were designed, they may 
be divided into utensils for domestic use, implements for handicraft, 
weapons and ornaments. With respect to the materials from which they 
were fabricated, they are stone, flint, slate, copper, pottery, bone, horn 
and shell. 

The most common relics are the flint arrow-heads, spear-heads and 
daggers. Other flint implements, such as knives and cutting tools, 
scrapers and borers have been found. Of stone relics, the most common 
are axes and hammers, grooved so that a forked branch or split stick 
could be fastened for a handle; balls more or less round, probably used 
as hand-hammers; pestles for crushing grain, and many ornaments — 
among them flat, perforated tubes of highly polished slate, and various 
forms of flat stones, polished and perforated. Stone pipes are found of 
various sizes and construction. Specimens of ancient pottery have not 
been often found. 

Charles Rau, the author of several valuable papers on American 
antiquities, has shown that there was an extensive trade or traffic among 
the pre-historic races of America. This is rendered evident from the 
fact that their manufactured articles consist of materials which must 
have been obtained from sources in far distant localities. The materials 
of which many relics found in Indiana are composed, can only be found 
at a distance of hundreds of miles. The term "flint," used to describe 
the material of which various chipped implements are manufactured, is 
used to include various kinds of hard and silicious stones, such as horn- 
stone, jasper, chalcedony and different kinds of quartz. There have 
been found in the United States places where the manufacture of flint 
implements was carried on. There was a great demand for arrow-beads 
among the primitive tribes, and in places where the proper kind of 
material could be found, there were work shops for their manufacture. 
An important locality to which the aborigines resorted for quarrying 
flint is now called Flint Ridge, and extends through Muskingum and 
Licking Counties, Ohio. Dr, Hildreth says of this ancient flint quarry: 
" The compact, silicious material of which this ridge is made up 
seems to have attracted the notice of the aborigines, who have manufac- 
tured it largely into arrow ar^ spear heads, if we may be allowed to 


judge from the numerous circular excavations, which have been made in 
mining the rock, and the piles of chipped quartz lying on the surface. 
How extensively it has been worked for these purposes may be imagined 
from the countless number of the pits, experience having taught them 
that the rock recently dug from the earth could be split with more free- 
dom than that which had lain exposed to the weather. These excava- 
tions are found the whole length of the outcrop, but more abundantly 
at 'Flint JElidge,' where it is most compact and diversified with rich 

The greenish, striped slate, of which variously shaped tablets are 
made, is believed to occur in no parts of the Union except the Atlantic 
coast district, and to have been transported, either in a rough or worked 
condition, from that region to the different parts of the Mississippi 
Valley in which the relics are found. The copper used by the aboriginal 
tribes was probably obtained chiefly from the northern part of Michigan. 



Similarity of the Surface Features of Dearborn, Ohio and Switzer- 
land Counties— Topography— Changes made along the Ohio- 
Table OF Elevations— Stratified Rooks— Minerals— Drift— Gold- 
Bearing Drift— Land-Slips— Sink-Holes— Soils. 

THE three counties of Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland, in southeast 
Indiana, all bordering on the majestic Ohio, present such simi- 
larities in their surface as to form a district whose physical features are 
best described together. These three counties are composed of the same 
geological formation, and indicate substantially the same geological his- 
tory. A description of the topography and geology of one would, in its 
general statements, apply to the rest. Robert H. Warder grouped the 
three counties together in his report on the geology of this region, pub- 
lished in 1872. Free use will be made in this chapter of Warder's. 
Report, together with the information contained in the writings of Prof. 
Edward Orton, of Ohio. In treating of the physical features of this dis- 
trict, only the leading points can be noticed. The attempt will be made 
to discard the technical terms of science, and to treat the subject in such 
a manner that it can be understood by any reader of average intelligence, 
although wholly unacquainted with geological science. 

The district extends forty-three miles from north to south, and twen- 
ty-one and one-half miles from east to west. 



The district has a diversified topography, and contains a great variety 
of soil. Although each of the counties has an extensive front on the 
Ohio, and much of the land of the district consists of Ohio River hills, 
yet there are extensive regions of upland flats which, in a state of nature, 
retained the water most of the year. In each of the counties are to be 
found bottom lands, river terraces, steep hill -sides, broken uplands and 
upland flats. The district contains some of the richest and some of the 
poorest land in the State. Picturesque scenery is to be found in the 
district along the Ohio, and the streams which fall into it, and on the 
uplands pleasant vistas of four or five miles may be enjoyed from favored 
spots. The hills along the Ohio are said, perhaps with truth, to be 
unsurpassed in beauty on the globe. The roads leading from the river 
to the higher lands pass -along the beds of streams between hills 
which are often beautifully rounded, while the ridges slope gracefully to 
the bottoms. 

The Ohio River extends for more than fifty miles along the east and 
south of the district. The big bottoms of the Great Miami are on the 
eastern side of Dearborn, and the Whitewater flows through the north- 
east part of that county. Tanner's Creek empties into the Ohio below 
Lawrenceburgh. North and South Hogan Creeks unite at Aurora, and 
flow into the Ohio. The winding Laughery Creek flows south in Ripley 
County,then turning northeastward, forms the boundary between Dearborn 
and Ohio Counties. The flood of the Ohio in 1847 backed water up this 
stream within three or four miles of the Ripley County line. The 
streams of Switzerland County are all comparatively small, the principal 
are Grant's, Bryant's, Log Lick and Indian Creeks. Some of the streams 
have considerable fall, and were early utililized for water-power, but as 
the forests have been cleared away, the water supply has become less 
constant, and many mills have been abandoned. 

The Ohio, with its mighty flood, causes many changes along its 
banks, in one place washing away large tracts, in another extending the 
land into the river channel. On this subject Warder's Report says: 

"A few examples of these changes will be given: At Rising Sun it is 
estimated that no less than 300 feet of the bank has been washed away 
within twenty-five years. A row of houses has disappeared which once 
stood above Main Street, with road and play-ground beyond. The well 
referred to, at Hickman's Landing, was dug about 100 feet from the 
bank, but it has been carried away and much of the bottom behind it. 
At Florence there was but little wear twenty-five years ago, the bank 
being protected by trees. About eighty feet of the bank have been lost 
at the Main street within a few years, and 200 feet a short distance 


below. Repeated changes of the river road have been required in maoy 

The process of land making is also very common, but I judge that 
the amount of material deposited will by no means equal the amount 
removed. There was formerly a low island above Vevay, close to the 
Indiana shore. Steamboats ascending the river frequently passed through 
the chute twenty years ago. The steamer Kentucky went through as 
late as 1859. A few tow-heads were gradually formed about the upper 
end. The current was thus arrested and the tine material held in sus- 
pension was deposited. When this accumulation had so filled the chute 
that the island was connected with the main land at low water it became 
part of Indiana; another corn-field has been added to the agricultural 
wealth of the State. A stump, which was at the water's edge in 1850, 
to which the fisherman fastened his net, is now several rods from the 
bank. Land is still forming among the trees beyond and below the 
island. Similar deposits are generally forming wherever a growth of 
willows or other trees is secured sufficient to diminish the current in time 
of overflows. Sometimes, however, the exposed roots of trees indicate 
that they are not a certain preventive of erosion. The current may be even 
wearing the bottom at one point while depositing silt immediately beyond." 

A table of elevations has been prepared from various sources, and is 
here given. The figures give the elevation above the ocean: 


Lawrenceburgh 500 

Guilford (C, I., St. L. & C. R. R) 520 

Harman's (C, I., St. L. & C. R. R.) 759 

Weisberg (C, I., St. L. & C. R. R.) 941 

Sunman's(C., I., St. L. & C. R. R.) 1,037 

Summit, near Milan (O. & M. R. R.) 1,000 

Moorefleld (turnpike level) 885 

Quercus Grove (turnpike level) 870 

Dillsborough 785 

"Seminary Hill," near Vevay 700 

Ridge, south of Guilford*(Aueroid barometer) 875 

High points, southwest part of Switzerland County (Aneroid 

barometer) 875 

General level of high ground in the northwest part of 

Switzerland County 950 

High point, near schoolhouse, one mile south of East Enter- 
prise (turnpike level) 910 


'. "' The stratified rocks of the district belong to the series formerly 
known as the Blue Limestone, and sometimes called the Hudson River 
Group. The modern name for the rock is the Cincinnati Group. These 
rocks belong geologically to the Hudson River Period, the Lower Silu- 
rian Age and the Paleozoic Era. They are found in the southeast part of 


Indiana, the southwest part of Ohio, and in a considerable area of Ken- 
tucky. They ax-e exposed in bluffs along the Ohio from Maysville, Ky., 
to the mouth of Fourteen Mile Creek in Clark County, Ind. The strata 
of the Cincinnati Gi'oup foi'm the floor of nearly the whole of Dearborn, 
Ohio and Switzerland Counties. The blueish tinge of the rocks is due 
to the presence of an oxide of iron. Exposure often changes the color 
to a light gray or drab. The rocks of this formation abound in well- 
preserved fossils, often of great beauty. The fossiliferous remains occur 
in such numbers and are so well preserved, that the attention of the 
most careless observer is directed to them in the stones by the wayside 
and in the village pavements. There are a few exposures of Upper 
Silurian rocks in the district, but their boundaries have not yet been 
accurately mapped. 

The limestone seldom occurs in layers of more than eight inches. 
There is an apparent layer of sixteen inches in the Lawrenceburg quarry, 
but it is separated into two or three by partings of clay. Neither does 
the marl occur in uninterrupted beds of any great thickness. Near Ris- 
ing Sun there is an exposure of twenty feet, or more, of blue clay, with 
no limestone more than an inch or two thick; but even here, there is a 
very thin layer of solid rock at every foot or few inches. The blue lime- 
stone is broken by vertical joints at intervals of a few feet or less. The 
largest piece observed was at Vevay, about 10x6 feet. The pieces often 
approximate to the parallelogram in shape; sometimes this feature is 
very striking, where the layer is divided into bits by two sets of nearly 
parallel joints, not running at right angles. A weathered stone often 
exhibits very narrow parallel grooves on the upper surface. By breaking 
the specimen they are seen to extend through one fourth, more or less, 
of its thickness. 

At the quarries near St. Leon, Dearborn County, in the upper part of 
the series, the rock is compact and bears hammer dressing much better 
than the average rock of this formation. On exposure it becomes gray. 
This change begins at the surface, and gradually reaches the center. 
While this is in progress, the two colors are not blended, but the gray 
and the' blue remain very distinct. 

Among the lowest Lower Silurian rocks exposed are layers of compact 
stone of comparatively dark color and abounding in fossils. This rock 
crops out in Millersburg, one mile from Florence, and at other points on 
the river. The stone is quarried nearly opposite Rising Sun, at low 
water, and used for tombstones under the name of "Kentucky marble." 
It receives a beautiful polish, when the fossils are very distinct; some 
dull spots probably indicate the position of concretions through the rock. 
Small cavities lined with calc spar sometimes occur and small crystals of 
iron pyrites are frequent. Slabs are quarried as large as desired. 



Blue limestone for building purposes is everywhere abundant. Very 
little of it will bear dressing. Few quarries are extensively worked, as 
this stone may be picked up from the beds of creeks. 

Lime for home consumption is burned from the blue limestone. 
Hydraulic cement is made from the quarry near Bennington. 

Gravel suitable for roads, is found at many places in the river ter- 
races, including those of the Whitewater and Miami. Deposits are not 
often accessible on the high lands. 

Molding sand for heavy work has been procured from the railroad 
cut near Newton. 

The manufacture of salt was carried on in early times when trans- 
portation was difficult; but this industry was long ago abandoned, as 
there are no salt wells or springs strong enough to make it profitable. 
There was a Government salt reservation on Section 25, Township 6, 
Range 1 west. Salt is said to have been made by the Indians on Grant's 
Creek at the Mineral Springs. 

Good bog iron ore occurs in many parts of the broken upland, but has 
not been seen elsewhere. In each spot it seems confined to a few rods or 
a few acres near the hilltop, but several outcrops occur near one locality, 
as near Quercus Grove. There are ledges from six to fourteen inches 
thick, but the stratum is seldom continuous, being divided into pieces a 
yard or less in diameter. Drift pebbles occur through the mass in many 
cases. The ore is most frequently noticed at the surface, or where struck 
by the plow, but it has been seen eight or nine feet deep. 


There is more or less drift on nearly all the high land. Northwest of 
Manchester, at Fairview, and in other parts of the upland flats, the lime- 
stone is overlaid with unstratitied blue clay, containing pebbles and 
boulders, many of which bear glacial scratches. The impervious nature 
of this clay determines, to a great extent, the agricultural character of 
the "crawfish flats." Much of the drift has been removed by erosion 
from the broken upland, but, even on the hills, some pebbles are found 
(occasionally scratched) which must be referred to this source. Boulders 
are common in each of the counties, some of them three or four feet in 

An interesting specimen, found near Tanner's Creek below Weisburg, 
was a piece of native copper, weighing twenty-six ounces, which must 
have been brought by natural agencies from the Lake Superior region. 

An unusual amount of pebbly drift occurs on the hills near Florence, 
and at the base is a mass of clay mingled with pebbles, on which no 
scratches are observed. 

At Hartford there is a remarkable accumulation of drift, chiefly rest- 


ing against the north face of the native hill. Between the bottoms of 
Laughery Creek and the hilltop, the deposit is about 200 feet high, with 
a beautiful grassy surface, divided by narrow dells. An outcrop through 
the soil shows nothing but cemented gravel. Time has been wasted here 
in searching for lead. Sand, with some cemented layers, was found near 
the top. At the base are slabs of blue and gray limestone, mingled with 
clay, a variety of pebbles, and flattened ferruginous concretions, which 
consist of concentric layers or are hollow. A trilobite (Calymene), with the 
form and markings uninjured, was here associated with scratched pebbles. 
In one of the prospect holes there is about twelve feet of quicksand in a 
basin of a native rock. Large crystalline boulders abound south and 
southwest of Hartford, occupying a space one mile east and west by one- 
fourth mile north and south, ia a valley that opens toward Laughery 
Creek. Two or three small streams flow northward across this valley to 
the creek. 


In the drift are deposits composed of crystalline rocks with large 
quartz and granite boulders, magnetic iron ore in the form of black sand, 
and gold dust and nuggets. George Sutton, M. D., of Aurora, in a 
paper on the " Gold Bearing Drift of Indiana" read before the American 
Association for the Advancement oE Science at Cincinnati, August, 
1881, said : 

"Along the valley of Laughery Creek, a stream which enters the 
Ohio River a few miles below the mouth of the Miami, may be seen 
deposits of this auriferous drift. They are not stratified like the terrace 
formations seen along our rivers, but lie in irregular accumulations 
along the valley. At the bottom of the small streams that have cut 
across this drift are seen deposits of black sand already alluded to, which 
principally consist of magnetic iron ore. It is in this sand that gold is 
found. Seven miles from the mouth of Laughery may be seen a deposit 
of this drift about a mile and a half in length, nearly half a mile in 
width, and about one hundred feet in thickness. ***** 
Some portions of the Laughery drift are so rich in gold that it is 
seen with the unaided eye, and almost pays a fair remuneration washing 
for it. My attention was directed a few weeks since, by the owner of the 
farm on which this drift is found, to a small excavation which had been 
made in washing for gold. It was by measurement six feet long, five feet 
broad and about two feet deep. He informed me that from this place 
$8 worth of gold had been obtained, and that a man had washed from 
the drift on his farm gold to the value of $16.50. The gold is found in 
the form of dust, flattened scales, and small nuggets. Only that which 
could be seen with the unaided eye was saved." 


Dr. Sutton traced the gold-bearing drift in a line across the State of 
Indiana northwestward to Illinois and argued for the existence of rich 
veins of gold north of the great lakes. 


A common phenomenon is the land-slip, especially on the steep river 
hills. The clay, being wet with spring rains, becomes slippery and too 
soft to support the weight above. Part of the hillside slips down by its 
own weight, forming a bench where the material accumulates. A greater 
depth of soil is retained on the benches than on the steeper part of the 

Another interesting phenomenon is the formation of sink-holes. 
These are most abundant in the soils overlying the Upper Silurian rocks, 
or the upper part of the Lower Silui'ian, where the water, sinking through 
the soil, wears away a channel by dissolving the rock, and the soil, no 
longer supported, falls in. A very common form is that of an inverted 
hollow cone. This may increase if the water is allowed to wash down 
more and more of the soil to the channel below, but if it becomes sodded 
over (especially when filled with brush or rubbish), the wash may be ar- 
rested, and the sink be converted into a pond, and gradually tilled up. 

When the surface soil is matted together by the roots of grass, it will 
keep its place long after the cavity has begun to form, until finally some 
horse puts his hoof upon the fragile roofing, and a cavity is revealed 
large enough to hide the whole animal. The next year the hole may be 

A series of sink-holes sometimes points out the vein of water, when a 
well is to be sunk; or an opening in a layer of rock, when a quarry is to 
be opened. 


The typical soil of the upland flats is derived from true drift, with 
which it is underlaid. It consists chiefly of stiff, cold, wet clay, of ashen 
color. Water stands on the surface after rain. The soil is shallow, for 
it is too stiff and close to let the roots and moisture penetrate readily. 
The subsoil, when wet, is very sticky; it adheres to the spade like putty. 
When dry, it is very hard; the spade will not penetrate it. The ground 
near the watersheds is called crawfish land, from the abundance of these 
animals. Their holes retain water all summer. Where there is more 
natural drainage this is not the case. Toward the broken land, in all 
directions, the soil is more yellow and mellow, and appears to have a 
larger proportion of sand. 

On the broken upland the amount of drift varies according to the 
thickness of the original deposit, and the amount lost by erosion. The 
limestone and marl add to the fertility where they are exposed to the air 


or streams. In some parts the rock crops out at the surface, in others 
there are many drift pebbles, the clay having been removed; in still oth- 
ers, the digging of wells shows the true, unmodified drift. These soils 
are yellow, except where a large amount of organic matter has accumulat- 
ed, as in the native forest, or by the use of green manure. Although 
the vegetable mold is generally more abundant on the hillsides than 
here, yet the soil has the advantage of retaining the moisture better than 
that which is darker and more mellow. 

The still more broken land, including the hillsides, contains in the 
blue limestone formation all the mineral ingredients essential to perpet- 
ual fertility, but these must be modified by disintegration and the addi- 
tion of organic matter, before they can be appropriated by the plant. 
Some steep, barren hillsides are practically worthless. Having been 
cleared, or bearing but little timber, they do not support even a good 
crop of weeds. The soil is washed ofif as fast as it is formed. In more 
favored localities, a thin, white clay soil accumulates sufficient to produce 
a scanty crop of wheat. In still others the forest leaves are mingled 
with the soil, or a crop of clover has been plowed in, furnishing the or- 
ganic matter that is needed to make the rich, "black hillsides." Note 
the fertile slopes near Rising Sun, where the hills are covered with a 
garland of trees. A farm on Grant's Creek produced satisfactory crops 
of corn and wheat for fifty years, when it was thought necessary to re- 
store the land simply by raising hay. This is not an exceptional in- 
stance, for the hillside farmers claim that a proper rotation is alone nec- 
essary to maintain the fertility unimpaired. 

The terrace soils remain to be described. They are derived entirely 
from modified drift and material washed from the several formations of 
the Ohio Valley. The ingredients are so varied that no essential mineral 
element is wanting. The creek deposits derived from the blue limestone 
resemble the hillside soil, in being stiff, clayey and whitish wherever 
the organic matter 'is exhausted, but with this ingredient the creek soil 
is very similar to the rich, black hillsides. 

The gravel of the river terraces would easily admit the air and rain, 
and quickly yield to these decomposing agencies, producing good land. 
Some terraces contain gravel only a foot below the surface, in others the 
soil is deep. There may be an understratum of coarse or fine gravel, or 
even of fine clay. Some river terraces are very sandy, as the low bottom 
above Rising Sun. Some are stiff and clayey, as a narrow strip on the 
north side of the Sand Run ; this may be attributed to material washed 
from the hill sides. The recent river deposits are always fertile, and 
where a frequent addition of river mud can be secured, no apprehension 
is entertained that the land will be exhausted. 





George Rogers Clark Proposes an Expedition Against the North- 
west Indians— Col. Lochry's Force in Aid of That Expedition— 
His March to Wheeling— Misfortunes of His Men— Want of Am- 
munition and Provisions— Slow Voyage down the Ohio— Landing 
ON the Indiana Shore — Surprise — Defeat— Massacre of the 
Colonel and Other Prisoners— LiUut. Anderson's Journal— The 
Proper Orthography of the Name of the Commander— List of the 
Killed AND Wounded. 

THE surprise and defeat of Archibald Lochry and the massacre of 
his men is the first conflict on record between the Indians and the 
whites on the soil of Indiana. It took place in the last year of the Rev- 
olutionary war and was really one of the battles of the Revolution, as the 
Indians engaged in it were allies of the British. The winding stream 
which forms the boundary between Dearborn and Ohio Counties, at the 
mouth of which the bloody battle was fought, bears the name of the un- 
fortunate colonel who there lost his life. It is the purpose of this chap- 
ter to give all the facts now known concerning Col. Lochry's expedition 
and its disastrous termination. 

We have accounts of the expedition by two men who participated in 
it — Capt. Robert Orr and Lieut. Isaac Anderson. Capt. Orr, whose 
account is published in Western Annals, was wounded by having his arm 
broken in the engagement ; he was carried off a prisoner to Sandusky, 
where he remained several months; at length, finding that they could^not 
cure his wound, the Indians took him to the hospital at Detroit, whence 
he was transferred to Montreal in the winter, and exchanged with other 
prisoners at the end of the war ; afterward he was appointed a judge of 
Armstrong County, Penn., which position he held at his death, in 1833, 


in his eighty- ninth year. Lieut. Anderson's account is published in Mc- 
Bride's Pioneer Biographies of Butler County, Ohio. The date of the 
engagement, as given by Gapt. Orr, is August 25, 1781, by Lieut. Ander- 
son, Aucrust 24. The latter is probably the correct date, as Anderson kept 
a journal during the expedition. 

Early in the summer of 1781, Col. Ai'chibald Lochry, who was 
county lieutenant of Westmoreland County, Penn,, was requested by 
Col. George Rogers Clark to raise a military force and join him in a 
contemplated military movement against the Indian tribes of the North- 
west, Capt. Orr, by his own exertions, raised a company of volunteer 
riflemen. Capts. Stokely and Shannon commanded each a company of 
rangers, and Capt. Campbell a company of horse. The party amounted 
to 107 men. Col. Lochry was the only field oflficer in command. It 
was Col.Clark's original intention to rendezvous at the mouth of the Great 
Miami, and to proceed up that river with his expedition, but he subse- 
quently changed his plan and ordered Col. Lochry to follow him to the 
falls of the Ohio. 

The force was rendezvoused at Carnahan's block-house, eleven miles 
west of Hannastown, July 24, and on the next day they set out for 
Fort Henry (Wheeling) by way of Pittsburgh, where it was arranged that 
they should join the army under Clark. On arriving there it was found 
that Clark had gone twelve miles down the river, leaving for them some 
provisions and a traveling boat, with directions to follow him. After 
preparing some temporary boats for the transportation of the men and 
horses, which occupied ten days, they proceeded to join Clark. Arriving 
at the place where he had halted, they found he had gone down the river 
the day before, leaving Maj. Creacroft with a few men and a boat for 
transportation of the horses, but without either provisions or ammuni- 
tion, of which they had an inadequate supply. Clark, had, however, 
promised to await their arrival at the mouth of the Kanawha River, but 
on reaching that point, they found that he had been obliged, in order to 
prevent desertion among his men, to proceed down the river, leaving 
only a letter fixed to a pole directing them to follow. 

Their provisions and forage were nearly exhausted; there was no 
source of supply, but the stores conveyed by Clark; the river was low and 
they were unacquainted with the channel, and could not therefore hope 
to overtake him. Under these embarrassing circumstances Col. Lochry 
dispatched Capt. Shannon with four men in a small boat with the hope 
of overtaking the main army and securing supplies, leaving Capt. Shan- 
non's company under the command of Lieut. Isaac Anderson. Before 
Capt. Shannon and his men had proceeded far they were taken prisoners 
by the Indians, and with them was taken a letter to Clark, detailing the 


situation of Lochry's party. About the same time Col. Lochry arrested 
a party of nineteen deserters from Clark's army, whom he afterward 
released, and they immediately joined the Indians. 

The savages had been apprised of the expedition, but had previously 
supposed that Clark and Lochry were traveling together, and through 
fear of the cannon which Clark carried refrained from making an attack. 
Apprised now by the capture of Shannon and his men and by the reports 
of the deserters, of the weakness of Lochry's party, they collected in 
force below the mouth of the Great Miami with the determination to 
destroy them. They placed these prisoners in a conspicuous position on 
the north shore of the Ohio, near, it was said, the head of an island, and 
promised to spare their lives on condition that they would hail their 
companions as they passed and induce them to surrender. This island is 
about three miles below the mouth of the creek named after the Com- 

Col. Lochry and his men made slow progress in descending the Ohio, 
and despairing of overtaking Clark's army, they landed, August 24, 
about 10 o'clock in the morning, at a very attractive spot on the north 
side of the Ohio at the mouth of a creek, about ten miles below the 
mouth of the Great Miami. Here they removed their horses ashore and 
turned them loose to graze. One of the party had killed a buffalo, and 
all, except a few set to guard the horses, were engaged around the fires 
which they had kindled in preparing a meal from it. Suddenly thev 
were assailed by a volley of rifle balls from an overhanging bluff, covered 
with large trees, on which the Indians immediately appeared in great 
force. The men thus surprised, seized their arms and defended them- 
selves as long as their ammunition lasted, and then attempted to escape by 
means of their boats. But the boats were unwieldy, the water was low, 
and the force too much weakened to make them available, and the whole 
party, unable to escape or defend themselves, were compelled to surrender. 

Immediately the Indians [fell upon and massacred Col. Lochry and 
several other prisoners, but were restrained by the arrival of the chief 
who commanded them, the celebrated Brant, who afterward apologized 
for the massacre. He did not approve, he declared, of such conduct, 
but it was impossible entirely to control his Indians. The murder of the 
prisoners was perpetrated in revenge for the massacre of the Indian 
prisoners taken by Broadhead's army on the Muskingum a few months 
before. The Indians engaged numbered 300 or more, and consisted 
of various tribes, among whom the prisoners and plunder were divided 
in proportion to the number of warriors of each tribe engaged. 

The next day they set out on their return to the Delaware towns. There 
they were met by a party of British and Indians, commanded by Col. 


Caldwell and accompanied by the two Girty's andMcKee, who professed 
to be on their way to the falls to attack George Rogers Clark. They re- 
mained there two days. Brant, with the greater part of the Indians, re- 
turned with Caldwell toward the Ohio. A few only remained to take 
charge of the prisoners and spoils. These they separated and took to 
the towns to which they were assigned. The prisoners remained in cap- 
tivity until the next year,]which brought the Revolutionary war to a close. 
More than one-half of the number who left Pennsylvania under Col. 
Lochry never returned. 

The foregoing*account is substantially that given by Capt. Orr. Some 
doubt has been expressed whether Brant was the leader of the Indians at 
the time referred to, there being no other evidence that he was then in 
the West. James McBride, in his sketch of Isaac Anderson, says that the 
Indians who were waiting opposite the island below to intercept the party, 
were informed of the landing of the whites by runners. According both 
to McBride and Anderson there were two attacking parties of Indians, 
one in the woods and the other in canoes on the river. 

Lieut. Isaac Anderson kept a daily journal from the time he set out 
on the expedition until his return, which was published in McBride's 
Pioneer Biographies. Although the events are briefly recorded, it em- 
bodies, probably, the most authentic account of the expedition in exist- 
ence. We insert without abridgment the first part of the journal cover- 
ing the month of August, preserving the original spelling of proper 


"August 1st, 1781. — We met at Colonel Carnahan's in order to form a 
body of men to join General Clark on the expedition against the In- 

"Aug. 2d. — Rendezvoused at said place. 

"Aug. 3d. — Marched under command of Colonel Lochry to Maracle's 
mill, about 83 in number. 

"Aug. 4th. — Crossed Youghagani a river. 

"Aug. 5th. — Marched to Devor's ferry. 

"Aug. 6th. — To Raccoon settlement. 

"Aug. 7th. — To Captain Mason's. 

"Aug. 8th. — To Wheeling Fort, and found Clark was started down the 
river about twelve hours. 

"Aug. 9th. — Col. Lochry sent a quartermaster and officer of the horse 
after him, which overtook him at Middle Island and returned; then 
started all our foot troops on seven boats and our horses by land to 
Grave Creek. 

"Aug. 13th. — Moved down to Fishing Creek; we took up Lieut. Baker 


and 16 men, deserting from Gen. Clark, and went that day to middle of 
Long Reach, where we stayed that night. 

"Aug. 15th. — To the Three Islands, where we found Major Creacroft 
waiting on us with a horse-boat. He, with his guard, six men, started 
that night after Gen. Clark. 

"Aug. 16th. — Colonel Lochry detailed Capt. Shannon with 7 men and 
letter after Gen. Clark, and we moved that day to the Little Connaway 
(Kanawha) with all our horses on board the boats. 

"Aug. 17th. — Two men went out to hunt who never returned to us. 
We moved that day to Buffalo Island. 

"Aug. 18th.— To Cattish Island. 

"Aug. 19th.— To Bare Banks. 

"Aug. 20th. — We met with two of Shannon's men, who told us they 
had put to shore to cook, below the mouth of the Siotha (Scioto) where 
Shannon sent them and a sergeant out to hunt. When they got about 
half a mile in the woods they heard a number of guns fire which they 
supposed to be Indians firing on the rest of the party, and they immedi- 
ately took up the river to meet us; but, unfortunately, the sergeant's 
knife dropped on the ground and it ran directly through his foot and he 
died of the wound in a few minutes. We sailed all night. 

"Aug. 21st. — We moved to the Two Islands. 

"Aug. 22d. — To the Sassafras Bottom. 

"Aug. 23d.— Went all day and all night. 

"Aug. 24th. — Col. Lochry ordered the boats to land on the Indian 
shore, about 10 miles below the mouth of the great Meyamee (Miami) 
river to cook provisions and cut grass for the horses, when we were fired 
on by a party of Indians from the bank. We took to our boats, expect- 
ing to cross the river, and was fired on by another party in a number of 
canoes, and soon we became a prey to them. They killed the Col. and a 
number more after they were prisoners. The number of our killed was 
about forty. They marched us that night about eight miles up the river 
and encamped. 

"Aug. 25th. — We marched eight miles up the Meyamee river and en- 

"Aug. 26th. — Lay in camp. 

"Aug. 27th. — The party that took us was joined by one hundred white 
men under the command of Capt. Thompson and three hundred Indians 
under the command of Capt. McKee. 

"Aug. 28th.— The whole of the Indians and whites went down against 
the settlements of Kentucky, excepting a sergeant and eighteen men, 
which were left to take care of sixteen prisoners and stores that were 
left there. We lay there until the fifteenth of Sept. 


"Sept. 15th, 1781. — We started toward the Shawna towns on our way 
to Detroit." 

To brietly narrate the remainder of the journal: Lieut. Anderson 
arrived at Detroit, October 11, and was confined in the citadel; was 
taken in a sloop to Niagara Fort; thence to Montreal, where he scaled 
the pickets, and made his way to his home in Pennsylvania, where he 
arrived in July, 1782. 

Eemembering the beautiful and fertile bottom of the Miami River, 
which he had traversed when a captive, in after years he resolved to 
possess a portion of that fertile soil. Accordingly he purchased a sec- 
tion of land on the west bank of the Great Miami, near the mouth of 
Indian Creek, in Butler County, Ohio, and in 1812 removed thereon 
with his family, and there resided until his death in 1839, in the eighty- 
second year of his age. 

The fate of Col. Lochry and his men was not known to their relatives 
and friends for several months after their defeat. In a letter from Gen. 
"William Irvine to Gen. Washington, dated Fort Pitt, December 29, 
1781, an account of the disaster is communicated, and the writer adds: 
" These misfortunes throw the people of this country into the greatest 
consternation and almost despair, particularly Westmoreland County, 
Lochry' s party being all the best men of their frontier." Lochry 's mis- 
fortunes compelled Col. Clark to abandon his expedition. 

In Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio is the following account by 
Col. John Johnson, of one of the prisoners, who was living with the 
Indians in Logan County, Ohio, at the time of the first settlement of 
that county: " James McPherson, or Squa-la-kake, 'the red-faced man,' 
was a native of Carlisle, Cumberland Co., Penn. He was taken prisoner 
by the Indians on the Ohio, at or near the mouth of the Big Miami, in 
Loughry's defeat; was many years engaged in the British Indian depart- 
ment under Elliott and McKee; married a fellow-prisoner; came into 
our service after Wayne's treaty of 1795, and continued in charge of the 
Shawnese and Senecas of Lewistown until his removal from office in 
1830, since which he died." 

Some of the accounts of this disaster, which have found their way 
into valuable historical works, are inaccurate. Some of them say the 
landing was on the Kentucky side. According to the account in Col- 
lin's History of Kentucky, one of the boats was taken to the Kentucky 
side, and Capt. William Campbell's men began cooking buifalo meat. 
The men were assailed from the overhanging Kentucky bank, and as soon 
as the boats began to move another large body of Indians on the Indiana 
side rushed out on the sand bank. 

While there is no doubt that the defeat took place on the Indiana 


side, it is not certainly known whether it was in Dearborn or Ohio 
County. None of those who participated in the expedition and wrote 
accounts of the disaster, which have been preserved, state whether the 
landing was above or below the mouth of the creek, and on the question 
whether it was probably above or below the descendants of the old pio- 
neers of this locality now" differ in opinion. It is safe to say that the 
most intelligent officers of the expedition, after witnessing the terrible 
butchery of their companions and then marched off prisoners with the 
Indians, would not be clear in their recollection on this point, and per- 
haps would not have been able to settle the question even by a visit to 
the scene of the disaster. 

The name of this unfortunate commander has been variously written 
Lochry, Lochrey, Loughry, Loughrey and Laughery. In Dillon's 
History of Indiana it is written Loughry; in Collin's History of Ken- 
tucky, Loughrey, although in the Annals of Kentucky, prefixed to the 
latter work, we have Lochry and Lochi-y's Creek. The people of Dear- 
born County seem to have early settled upon Laughery as the correct spell- 
ing of the name of the creek which is^now the boundary of their county, 
and in McBride's biography of Isaac Anderson, as published by Kobert 
Clarke & Co., the same orthography is followed, although Anderson 
himself wrote the name Lochry. The writer of this chapter has satis- 
fied himself, after full investigation, that Lochry is the correct way of 
spelling the name of the Colonel, as will be seen in his published letters 
in the Pennsylvania Archives of the period of 1781. Upon this point 
the writer addressed a note to Lyman C. Draper, the historian, who has 
in preparation a full history of the campaigns of Gen. George Rogers 
Clark. He says that Lochry is the correct spelling, and that he has 
among the papers of Gen. Clark a letter of Lochry's, a mere formal, 
brief, business letter, and Lochry is the way he signed his name. It is 
to be earnestly hoped that the people of Dearborn and Ohio Counties 
may yet be induced to write Lochry's Creek and Lochry's Island. 

Return of the men killed and taken August 24, 1781, upon the Ohio 
River under the command of Col. Lochry. 

Killed: Col. Lochry, Capt. Campbell, Ensigns Ralph, Maxwell and 

Prisoners: Maj. Creacroft, Adjt. Guthree, Quartermaster Wallace, 
Capts. Thomas Stokely, Samuel Shannon and Robert Orr; Lieuts. 
Isaac Anderson, Joseph Robinson, Samuel Craig, John Scott, Milr 
Baker; Ensign Hunter. 

Privates killed and taken prisoners in Capt. Stokely's company: 

Killed: Hugh Gallagher, Isaac Patton, Douglass, Pheasant, Young, 
Gibson, Smith, Stratton, Bailv and John Burns. 


Prisoners: Jolin Trimble, William Mars, John Seace, Michael 
Miller, Robert Watson, John Allenton, Richard Fleman, James Cain, 
Patrick Murphy, Abraham Anderson, Michael Haire. 

Capt. Campbell's company: 

Killed: William Allison. James McRight, Jonathan McKinley. 
Prisoners: William Husk, Robert Wilson, James Dunseth, William 
(^ZM Weatherington, Keany Quigley, Ezekiel Lewis. 

Capt. Orr's company: -7^ 

Killed: John Forsyth, William Cain, Adam Erwin, Peter Maclin, ^~ 

Archibald Erskin, John Black, John Stewart, Joseph Crawford. 

Prisoners: Adam Owry, Samuel Lefaver, John Hunter, Joseph 
Erwin, Mans Kite, Hugh Steer, Hugh Moore. 

Capt. Shannon's company: 

Killed: Ebenezer Burns, killed by accident. 

Prisoners: Solomon Aikens, John Lever, Jonas Fisher, George 
Hill, John Porter, John Smith. 

Lieut. Baker's company: 

Killed: D'AUinger, George Butcher, John Rowe, Peter Brickman, 
Jonas Peters, Jonas Brooks.^ ^ ; . .r~ ,' .-., 

Prisoners: John Catt, '"^Lawrence, Jacob Lawrence, Christopher 
Tait, Charles Martlin, William Rourk, Wnd. Franks, Abraham Righley, 
V George Mason. 

Lieut. Anderson's company: 

Killed: Samuel Evans, Sergt. Zeanz Harden, Matthew Lamb, John 
Milegan, John Corn. 

Prisoners: Norman McLeod, Sergt. James McFerson, William 
Marshall, Denis McCarty, Peter Coneley, John Ferrel. 

Taken prisoners in Maj. Creacroft's company: 

Thomas James, Thomas Adkson, John Stakehouse, William Clark, 
Elihu Risely, Alexander Burns. 

Forty-eight privates and twelve officers taken; five officers and thirty- 
six privates killed. 




Congress Proposes a Treaty with the Indians at Vincennes— Place 
Changed to the Mouth of the Great Miami— Arrival of the Com- 
missioners—Building THE Port— Isaac Zane— Hunting Buffalo- 
Indians Arrive Slowly— Wyandot Camp— Shawnees Unfavorably 
Disposed— Coolness of Gen. George Rogers Clark— The Treaty. 

/;■ /''>^ 

FORT FINNEY was erected in the autumn of 1875 for the purpose of 
protecting the United States commissioners and troops during the 
negotiations with the Indians preliminary to the treaty there entered 
into January 31, 1786. The fort stood on the bank of the Ohio above 
the mouth of the Great Miami. 

Congress resolved in March, 1785, to hold a treaty with the Indians 
of the Wabash and other parts of Indiana at Vincennes, June 20, 
1785. The place of meeting was afterward changed to the mouth of the 
Great Miami. The representatives of the United States were George 
Rogers Clark, Richard Butler and Samael H. Parsons. Various circum- 
stances caused the time of the negotiations to be changed to the winter 
of 1785-86. The Wabash Indians refused to attend on account of a 
growing spirit of hostility. Some chiefs and warriors of the Shawnees 
and a few Delawares and Wyandots finally met the^commissioners. 

A detailed account of the movements of the commissioners and the 
troops accompanying them, the erection of the fort and the slow assem- 
bling of the Indians is given in the journal of Maj. Ebenezer Danny, 
published in 1860 by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. In October, 
1785, Lieut. Denny was ordered' to embark for the Great Miami in 
company with Gens. Butler and Parsons, commissioners instructed to 
treat with the Wyandot, Delaware and Shawnee Indians. The treaty 
contemplated was saplementary to one made at Fort Mcintosh, in Janu- 
ary, 1785, concerning which there had been complaints among the 
Indians, and was principally intended to include the Shawnees who had 
failed to appear at Fort Mcintosh. The company to which Lieut. Denny 
was attached was commanded by Capt. Finney, and contained about 
seventy men. 

The fleet bearing the commissioners and troops left Fort Pitt early in 
October, and consisted of twelve small keel-boats and batteaux, bearing 


the troops and goods for the ladiaos, with two large Kentucky flats to 
carry horses, cattle, etc. The arrival at North Bend and the erection of 
Fort Finney are_,given in the following extract. 

32:1 [Oct.]— Arrive at mouth of Great Miami. Best ground for our station 
about a mile above the mouth, where the boats were brought, and everything un- 
loaded. All hands set to work chopping, clearing, etc., and preparing timber for 
block-houses and pickets, and on the 8th inst. [November] had ourselves inclosed; 
hoisted the United Stales flag, and christened the place Fort Finney, in compliment 
to Lieut. Finney, the commanding officer. Our work is a square stockade fort, sub- 
stantial block-houses, two stories, twenty four by eighteen feet in each angle, con- 
tains one hundred feet of stout pickets, four feet in tlie ground, and nine feet above, 
situated one hundred and fifty yards from the river on a rising second bank. A 
building eighteen by twenty feet, within the east and west curtains, for the accom- 
modation and reception of contractors' stores and Indian goods; and one small but 
strong building, center of north curtain, for magazine. A councilrhouse, twenty by 
sixty, detached, but within gun-shot. Commissioners and their followers pitch their 
tents within the fort, and erect wooden chimneys. 

The .season was very favorable but cool, and the men were employed for some 
time finishing the block-houses and clearing off the timber and brush for some dis- 
tance outside. Gen. George Rogers Clark came up from the falls of the Ohio (Louis- 
ville) and joined the other commissioners a few days later. On the 34th of Novem- 
ber Maj. Denny notes the arrival of messengers, who set out from Pittsburgh to the 
Indian town to invite the Indians to a treaty at Fort Finney, accompanied by six 
chiefs of the Shawnees, Wyandot and Delaware nations, namely: Captain Johnny, 
or Red Pole, Half King, Crane, Pipe, Wingman and White-Eyes— "all glad to see 
us, brothers; some grog and smoke produced." On the 37th "about one hundred 
Indians assemble and are camped a couple of miles from U3; the greatest part Wy- 
andots; afewDelawares." On the 5th of December Maj. Denny makes entry; Gens. 
Clark, Butler and Parsons'] leave us on a visit to the falls of the Ohio, about one 
hundred and fifty miles below. Capt. Finney and myself, with a party of soldiers 
in boats, go to Big Bone Liclv, thirty miles down; dig up and collect some astonish- 
ing large bones. 

Danny was occasionally in company with Isaac Zane, a man who had 
been broug ht up among the Wyandots. On the 12th of December, 
Denny, Zane and two Indians went up the river seven miles to hunt 
b uffal o. The Jouraal records that the bunting party returned on the 
fourth day and brought the'meat of three buffalos, two bears and parts 
of a number of deer. Oa the 20th of December the commissioners re- 
turned from the falls, disappointed at not finding more Indians assembled. 
Those who had come in were principally Wyandots and Delawares, with 
whom the treaty at For t M cintosh was made. The Shawnees were the 
ones for whom the proposed treaty was intended, but they hung back. It 
has since been developed that the notorious Simon Girty and Robert 
Suphlet, a cousin of the British agent, Alex McKee, were with the 
Shawnees, endeavoring to prevent their attendance at the treaty. 

At length, January 14, 1786, about 150 Shawnee men and eighty 
women visited the fort and were received with high honors. The com- 



missioaers directt^d that a party of soldiers should cook and serve out 
provisions for them in the council-house. As the Shawnees selected al- 
ways their old and decrepid women to do the cooking, when they saw 
United States' soldiers carrying kettles of provisions to them they laughed 
and shouted at them in derision. They approached the fort in a stately 
manner with Indian music beat on a keg drum and singing. During the 
negotiations the Wyandot camp was on the bank of the Great Miami, 
about three miles north of Fort Finney. 

Gen. George Rogers Clark understood the Indian character thoroughly. 
He was a short, stout, square man with a high forehead, sandy 
hair, blue eyes and heavy, shaggy eyebrows. He kept aloof from his 
colleagues of the commission, and there seems to have been some jealousy 
between them. With Lieut. Denny he was on familiar terms and in- 
vited him to pass his evenings with him at his tent, where he talked 
freely about his adventures and victories. 

The Shawnees came to the fort in no friendly spirit, and but for the 
profound knowledge possessed by Gen. Clark of their character, one 
conference might have resulted in the murder of the commissioners. 
Three hundred of their warriors, with their paint and feathers, Janu- 
ary 14, filed into the council-house. Their demeanor was sullen and 
suspicious. The commissioners sat at a table in the center of the cham- 
ber. The scene is thus described in the "Encyclopedia Americana," by 
an officer who was present: 

"On the part of the Indians, an old council sachem, and a war chief 
took the lead. The latter, a tall, raw-boned fellow with an impudent and 
villainous look, made a boisterous and threatening speech, which oper- 
ated effectually on the passions of the Indians, who set up a prodigious 
whoop at every pause. He concluded by presenting a black and a white 
wampum, to signify that they were prepared for either event, peace or 
war. Clark exhibited the same unaltered and careless countenance he 
had shown during the whole scene, his head leaning on his hand and his 
elbow resting on the table. He raised his little cane and pushed the 
sacred wampum off the table with little ceremony. Every Indian at the 
same time started from his seat with one of those sudden, simultaneous 
and peculiar savage sounds, which startle and disconcert the stoutest 
heart and can neither be described nor forgotten. 

"At this juncture Clark arose. The scrutinizing eye lowered at his 
glance. He stamped his foot on the prostrate and insulted symbol and 
ordered them to leave the hall. They did so, apparently involuntarily. 
They were heard all night debating in ^the bushes near the fort. The 
raw-boned chief was for war; the old sachem for peace. The latter pre- 
vailed and the next morning they came back and sued for peace." 


The troops remained at Fort Finney for several months after the 
signing of the] treaty on January 31. A majority of the men in the 
garrison were Irish, and celebrated St. Patrick's day by getting drunk, 
in the evening only six men being fit for duty. One of the men died the 
next day from the effects of too much liquor. On the 25th of March a 
block-house, on the bank of the river, was completed to guard the boats. 
The 4th of July was celebrated with three rounds from small arms and 
three from the field piece. Lieut. Denny's diary at the fort closes in 
July, 1786, when he was ordered to Fort Harm ar. At what time Fort 
Finney was abandoned is not known, but it was before the settlement at 
North Bend by Judge Symmes. 

By the treaty of Fort Finney the United States were acknowledged to 
be the sole and absolute sovereigns of all the territory ceded to them by 
the treaty with Great Britain in 1784. Hunting grounds, lying chiefly 
in Indiana, were allotted the Shawnees as follows: 

"The United States do allot to the Shawnee nation lands within said 
territory to live and hunt upon, beginning at the south line of the lands 
allotted to the Wyandot and Delaware nations, at the place where the 
main branch of the Great Miami, which falls into the Ohio, intersects 
said line; thence down the river Miami to the fort of that river next below 
the [old fort, which was taken by the French in one thousand seven 
hundred and fifty-two; thence due west to the river De La Pause; thence 
down that river to the river Wabash; beyond which lines none of the 
citizens of the United States shall settle,- nor disturb the Shawnees in 
their settlement possession." 

The treaty failed entirely in securing peace, as the tribes more distant 
than the Shawnees were in no way disposed to cease their incursions. 





First Exploration of the Miami Country— Christopher Gist— Benja- 
min Stites— John Cleves Symmes— Columbia— Cincinnati — North 
Bend— Troops at the Mouth of the Great Miami— Their Kemoval 
TO Cincinnati— Flat-Bottomed Water Craft— Judge Symmes's 
Policy with the Indians— Failure of his Efforts to Maintain 
Peace— The Indian War Begins. 

A NUMBER of the earliest pioneers of Dearborn and Ohio Counties 
first settled, after their immigration to the West, in the tract be- 
t^een the Miami Rivers, known as Symmes's Purchase, or the Miami 
Purchase. This tract was settled several years before any of the lands 
below the Great Miami. Some account of the Miami Purchase is 
necessary to a correct understanding of the history of the counties with 
which we are dealing. 

The first white man on record who explored the Miami region, and 
probably passed within or near the present limits of Dearborn County, 
was Christopher Gist , agent and explorer for the Ohio Land Company of 
Virginia. Traveling with horses and accompanied by one or two wood- 
'nen, Gist passed into the interior of what is now the State of Ohio, in 
the winter of 1750-51. He had a conference with the Mi ami Ind ians at 
Piqua, their chief town, and thence passed down the Mijuni Valley to the 
Ohio. At that time the buffalo, whose original range seems to have been 
nearly the whole of North America, was an inhabitant of the Miami 
country, and was seen by Gist in droves of thirty or forty. "Nothing is 
wanted," he wrote, "but cultivation to make this a moa^^ delightful coun- 
try." This journey was made eighteen years before^aniel Boone first 
saw the valley of the Kentucky. 

Not long after the treaty of Fort Finney, Maj. Benjamin Stites, then 
of Red Stone, Penn. , explored the region between the Miamis, and 
through infonination obtained from him Judge John Cleves Symmes, of 
New Jersey, made a contract with the treasury board of the United States 
for the purchase of the lands. 

Three parties were formed to occupy and improve separate portions 
of Symmes's Purchase. The first, led by Benjamin Stites, consisted of 
twenty-two male persons, with the families of some of them, who, 


November 18, 1788, landed at the mouth of the Little Miami, and 
founded Columbia, within the limits of a tract of 10,000 acres, deeded by 
Symmes to Stites. The second party was formed at Limestone under 
Matthias Denman and Robert Patterson, amounting to twelve or fifteen 
persons, and landed opposite the mouth of the Licking near the close of 
December, 1788, and founded Cincinnati, first called Losanteville. The 
third party was under the immediate direction and care of Judge Symmes, 
and left Limestone January 29, 1789, and on their passage down the 
river were delayed and obstructed by floating ice, which covered the 
river. Early in February they reached North Bend, above the mouth of 
the Great Miami, where the Judge proposed to found a city. North 
Bend received its name from the fact that it was the most northern bend 
of the Ohio below the mouth of the Great Kanawha. 

Judge Symmes laid out a village at this bend, and every individ- 
ual settler of the party accompanying him received a donation lot, which 
he was required to improve on condition of obtaining a title. At Cleves, 
Ohio, the Great Miami approaches within a mile of the Ohio River, but 
instead of flowing into the great stream at this place, it makes an abrupt 
detour to the west and south, and only reaches its destination after a cir- 
cuit of ten miles. Its approach to the Ohio is blocked by a ridge 150 
feet in height, through which a railroad tunnel is constructed. On the 
peninsula between the two rivers Judge Symmes laid out a city on a mag- 
nificent scale, extending from the Ohio to the Great Miami. He named 
it Symmes City, and he intended it to be the great metropolis of his pur- 
chase. His project, however, failed, and even the name of the projected 
city was forgotten. The settlement continued to be called North Bend. 

After returning from his purchase, the Judge was so highly delighted 
with the fertility of his lands that, on September 22, 1789, he wrote 
from Maysville to his associate, Gen. Jonathan Dayton, that he thought 
some of the land near the Great Miami "positively worth a silver dollar 
to the acre in its present state." 

Gen. Harmar, in a letter from Fort Washington, dated January 14, 
1790, one year after the commencement of the settlements between the 
Mi amis, thus describes them: "The distance between the Little and 
Great Miami is twenty-eight measured^ miles. Near the Little Miami 
there is a settlement called Columbia; here, some miles distant from 
Columbia, there is another named Losanteville, but changed lately to 
Cincinnati, and Judge Symmes himself resides at the other, about 
fifteen miles from hence, called the Miami City, at the north bend of the 
Ohio River. They are in general but small cabins, and the inhabitants 
of the poorer class of people." 

At the solicitation of Judge Symmes, Gen. Harmar sent Capt, Kearsey 


with forty-eight rank and file, to protect the settlements commenced in 
the Miami country. A part of the men were for a short time at Columbia, 
aa a guard to the pioneers, under Maj. Stites, but through the influence 
of Judge Symmes, the entire command proceeded to North Bend, and 
landed there about the 1st of February, 1789. Capt.Kearsey intended to 
occupy Fort Finuey, built at the mouth of the Great Miami three years be- 
fore, but this purpose was defeated by the high water, which spread over the 
high grounds, and rendered it difficult to reach the fort. He was much 
disappointed, as he expected to find a fort ready built for him, and was not 
provided with the implements ready to construct one. He was so much 
displeased that, according to Judge Burnet, he resolved not to attempt to 
construct a new fort, but to leave North Bend and join the garrison at 
Louisville, and early in March embarked for the falls of the Ohio with 
his command. 

Judge Symmes wrote to Maj. Willis, commandant of the garrison at 
Louisville, complaining of the conduct of Capt. Kearsey, representing 
the exposed situation of the Miami settlements, and requesting a guard 
to be sent to North Bend. This request was promptly complied with, 
and before the close of the month of March, Ensign Luce, with seven- 
teen or eighteen soldiers, arrived and were stationed for a time at the Bend. 
It was not long before an attack upon them was made by the Indians,^ 
in which one soldier was killed and four or five others were wounded, 
including a surveyor from New Jersey, Maj. J. E. Mills. Although he 
recovered from his wounds, he felt their disabling effects until his death. 

The presence of troops for a while gave North Bend a decided advan- 
tage over its two rival settlements. Many of the first adventurers 
planted themselves at the Bend, believing it to be the place of greatest 
safety. Ensign Luce, however, only erected a temporary work of defense 
at that place, regardless of the earnest entreaties of the Judge to proceed 
at once to the erection of a permanent fort. September 16; 1789, Maj. 
Doughty arrived in the Miami country with instructions to erect a strong 
fortification at the most suitable point. After reconnoitering three days, 
he fixed upon Cincinnati "as high and healthy, and abounding with 
never-failing springs, and the most proper position." The soldiers were 
removed from the Bend to Cincinnati, and many of the settlers followed. 
The latter place became the great commercial metropolis of the Miami 

The fiat bottomed water-craft called arks or Kentucky boats, in 
which the early emigrants descended the Ohio, were often immense 
structures and made in a most substantial manner. These boats were 
built of stout oak plank, fastened by wooden pins to frames of timber. 
The cabin was well protected and placed in the stern. From it the 


smoke curled up gracefully. The fire within gave warmth and comfort 
for the women and children when the wind was chill or the rain was 
falling. When the weather was pleasant, picturesque groups of men, 
women and children could be seen in the middle part of the boat, noise- 
lessly floating along — the only motive power the current of the stream. 
The cattle, provisions and furniture were placed in the bows. Had it 
not been for the dangers from murderous savages lurking along the 
shore it was a pleasant enough mode of traveling. When the boat 
reached its destination it was broken up, and the materials of which it 
was constructed served a useful purpose in building the new homes of 
the emigrants. 

Judge Symmes, the projector of the Miami Purchase, had his resi- 
dence at North Bend until his death. " His tomb is about thirty rods 
west from that of Gen. Harrison. On a tablet covering his grave is the 
following inscription: "Here rest the remains of John Cleves Symmes, 
who, at the foot of these hills, made the first settlement between the 
Miami Elvers. Born on Long Island, State of New York, July 21, 
1742; died at Cincinnati, February 26, A. D., 1814." Judge Symmes 
had been chief justice of New Jersey, and at the time he embarked in 
his land speculation in the West, was a member of the Colonial Con- 
gress. He was the father-in-law of President Harrison. The name of 
Judge Symmes should not be confounded with that of Capt. John 
Cleves Symmes, of Hamilton, Ohio, author of the theory that "the earth 
is hollow, habitable within and widely open about the poles." The 
author of this theory which has been ridicaled in the expression 
"Symmes' Hole," was a nephew of the land speculatoi*. Although 
Judge Symmes contracted with Congress to pay onl y 66| cents per acre 
for the land between the Miami Rivers, and his purchase is one of the 
most valuable and fertile tracts in the United States, yet he was not 
financially successful in his project. Indian hostilities so long delayed 
the settlement of his purchase that he was unable to meet his obligations 
to the Government. ^ 

Judge Symmes proposed to treat the Indians kindly and justly, and 
thus to prevent an outbreak between them and his settlements. There 
were no Indian towns in the lower part of the country between the 
Miamis or on the west side of the Great Miami in the region now in- 
cluded in Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland Counties. This is contrary 
to the general impression, but Gen. Harrison, who came to the Miami 
country when a mere boy, and was familiar with Indian history and tradi- 
tions, was emphatic in denying that this portion of the Ohio Valley had 
been occupied as a place of residence by the Indians for centuries before 
the first arrival of the whites. But while there were no Indian towns 


in this region, the red men claimed thecountry as their hunting ground, 
and were frequently found encamped in the valleys in considerable 

As the number of white emigrants increased, the Indians con- 
templated the movements of the whites with much jealousy. They 
denied the binding obligation of the treaty under which the United 
States claimed to have obtained the lands. They not only saw that the 
rapidly forming settlements would deprive them of their hunting 
grounds, but they also suffered many outrages from lawless and cruel 
white men who were controlled by no sense of justice or humanity. 

In one of his earliest exploring expeditions up the Great Miami, 
Judge Symmes, who was in company with a considerable body of Ken- 
tuckians, came across a small and defenseless body of Indians. The 
Kentuckians, incensed at depredations by savage hordes, in their State, and 
hating even the name of Indian, wished to shoot them at sight. Symmes 
interposed for their protection, which proceeding, he says, the Kentuck- 
ians thought unpardonable. 

Not long after/the commencement of the settlement at North Bend, 
as Judge Burnet relates, Symmes was visited by a number of Indians 
from a camp in the neighborhood of the Colu mbia settlement. One of 
them, a Shawnee chief, had many complaints to make of frauds practiced 
upon them by white traders, who, however, had no connection with the 
pioneers. After several conversations and some small presents, he pro- 
fessed to be satisfied with the explanation he had received, and gave 
assurances that the Indians would trade with the white men as friends. 

In one of their interviews the Judge told him he had been com- 
missioned and sent out by the thirteen fires in the spirit of friendship 
and kindness, and that he was instructed to treat them as friends and 
brothers. In proof of this, he showed them the flag of the Union, with 
its stars and stripes, and also his commission, having the great seal of the 
United States attached to it; exhibiting the American eagle, with olive 
branch in one claw, emblematic of peace, and the instrument of war and 
death in the other. He explained the meaning of these symbols. At 
first the chief did not think them very striking emblems either of peace 
or war, but before he departed from the Bend he gave assurances of the 
most friendly character. 

Notwithstanding all this, when the Indians left the settlements for 
their own towns they stole, as the whites would say, but as they said, 
took, a number of horses from the Columbia settlement in compensation 
for the injuries they had received from the white traders. These thefts 
were repeated and a party of whites was sent out in pursuit. As they 
approached the Indian camp, Capt. Flinn was sent forward cautiously 


to reconnoiter. He was surprised, taken captive and carried into the 
Indian camp. Not being very closely watched, and having great confi- 
dence in his activity and fleetness, at a favorable moment he sprang from 
the camp and made his way in safety to his friends. There were a num- 
ber of horses belonging to the Indians near their camp. Not finding 
their own, the whites took the Indians' horses and returned to their set- 
tlement. In a few days the Indians came back to Columbia, returned 
Capt. Flinn's rifle and complained of the loss of their horses. The 
matter was finally amicably arranged. 

Notwithstanding the peaceful policy of Judge Symmes, it was impos- 
sible to prevent the outbreak of hostilities. Before many months elapsed 
two boys at Columbia were shockingly murdered, and the head of one of 
them was found fixed on a pole. Doubtless, in some cases, lone Indians 
were shot down in the woods by roving bands of worthless white men. 
The long war, which continued for nearly seven years, was commenced. 
All peaceful intercommunication between the white and red men ceased. 
Orders were given that every white man enrolled in the militia should 
carry his gun and be equipped ready for fight at all gatherings, whether 
on Sunday or other days. Thus it will be seen a dark cloud early 
hovered over the new settlements between the Miamis, and eclipsed for 
a time the bright hopes indulged in at the commencement of Judge 
Symmes' s enterprise. 

The Indian war was a most unfortunate one for the Miami settle- 
ment. Many persons bought lands from Judge Symmes, immigrated to 
the Miami country, but could not live upon their lands for fear of the 
Indians. Many of the pioneers, who afterward settled on both sides of 
the Great Miami, were for years compelled to remain within the protec- 
tion of block- houses and forts. Dr. Ezra Ferris estimated the number of 
male persons capable of bearing arms at the principal settlements in 
1791 as follows: Columbia, 150; Cincinnati, 100; North Bend, 80; 
Dunlap's Station, 15; Cavalt's Station, 20. 

The unhappy condition of many of these adventurers who were 
prevented from occupying their lands, and the methods adopted of 
building stations of defense, are described by Judge Burnet in the 
following extract from his notes: 

" A large number of the original adventurers to the Miami Purchase 
had exhausted their means by paying for their land and removing their 
families to the country. Others were wholly destitute of pi'operty, and 
came out as volunteers, under the expectation of obtaining, gratuitously, 
such small tracts of land as might be forfeited by the purchasers, under 
Judge Symmes, for not making the improvements required by the 
conditions stipulated in the terms of sale and settlement of Miami lands, 


published by the Judge in 1787. The class of adventurers first named 
was comparatively numerous, and had come out under an expectation of 
taking immediate possession of their lands, and of commencing the cul- 
tivation of them for subsistence. Their situation, therefore, was distress- 
ing. To go out into the wilderness to till the soil appeared to be certain 
death; to remain in the_j settlements threatened them with starvation. 
The best provided of the pioneers found it difficult to obtain subsistence, 
and, of course, the class now spoken of were not far from total destitu- 
tion. They depended on game, fish, and such products of the earth as 
could be raised on small patches of ground in the immediate vicinity of 
the settlements. 

" Occasionally, small lots of provisions were brought down the river 
by emigrants, and sometimes were transported on pack-horses from 
Lexington, at heavy expense, and not without danger. But supplies 
thus procured were beyond the reach of those destitute persons now 
referred to. 

" Having endured these privations as long as they could be borne, the 
more resolute of them determined to brave the consequences of moving 
on to their lands. To accomplish the object with the least exposure, 
those whose lands were in the same neighborhood united as one family; 
and, on that principle, a number of associations were formed amounting 
to a dozen or more, who went out resolved to maintain' their 

" Each party erected a strong block-house, near to which their cabins 
were put up, and the whole was enclosed by strong log pickets. This being 
done, they commenced clearing their lands and preparing for planting 
their crops. During the day, while they were at work, one person was 
placed as a sentinel to warn them of approaching danger. At sunset 
they retired to the block-house and their cabins, taking everything of 
value within the pickets. In this manner they proceeded from day to 
day and week to week, till their improvements were sufficiently extensive 
to support their families. During this time they depended for subsis- 
tence on wild game, obtained at some hazard, more than on the scanty 
supplies they were able to procure from the settlements on the river. 

" In a short time, the stations gave protection and food to a large 
number of destitute families. After they were established the Indians 
became less annoying to the settlements on the Ohio, as part of their 
time was employed in watching the stations. The former, however, did 
not escape, bat endured their share of the fruits of savage hostility. In 
fact no place or situation was exempt from danger. The safety of the 
pioneer depended on his means of defense, and on perpetual 


" The Indians viewed those stations with great jealousy, as they had 
the appearance of permanent military establishments, intended to retain 
possession of their country. In that view they were correct; and it was 
fortunate for the settlers that the Indians wanted either the skill or means 
of demolishing them. 

" The truth of the matter is, their great error consisted in permiting 
those works to be constructed at all. They oiight have prevented it with 
great ease, but they appeared not to be aware of the serious consequences 
which were to result until it was too late to act with effect. Several 
attacks were, however, made at different times, with an apparent deter- 
mination to destroy them; but they failed in every instance." 


Hostility of the Indians Against thk Settlements in Kentucky- 
Attacks on Tanner's Station— Killing of John Filson and Abner 
Hunt— Attack on Dunlap's Station— Capture of Young Fuller 
—The Murder of De Moss— Murder of Benjamin Cox and Thomas 
Walters— Premiums for Indian Scalps— Indian Depredations 
Checked by Wayne's Victory— Indians Continue to Steal Horses. 

THE hostility of the Indians against the whites was displayed before 
the commencement of the settlements between the Miamis, They 
intercepted boats passing up and down the Ohio, and attempted to break 
up the white stations on the south side of the river. Large numbers of 
the savages frequently encamped and hunted in the region embracing 
Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland Counties, and passed over into Ken- 
tucky for the purpose of stealing horses and annoying the settlements in 
that State. There were extensive hunting grounds of the tribes of the 
Wabash and Maumee in the southeast part of Indiana. 

While Fort Finney was occupied, Lieut. Denny recorded in his jour- 
nal that a station, consisting of a few families with a stockade for 
defense, had been erected on the Kentucky side of the Ohio, about six 
miles below Fort Finney. On the morning of March 20, 1786, an 
express from the station informed the garrison at the fort that the 
Indians had attacked two of their people a short distance from the sta- 
tion, killed one and wounded the other. The wounded person escaped 
into the cabins at the stockade. Lieut. Denny took a light boat with a 


sergeant and twelve men, and hastened to the station. He found the 
dead man scalped and cut in several places; he buried him, assisted in 
rendering the stockade more secure and returned home. This station 
was probably Tanner's, at what is now Petersburg, Ky. 

Four years later, John Garnet, in a deposition taken before a magis- 
trate, for the use of the Kentucky authorities, stated that he was at Tan- 
ner's Station on the Ohio, about five miles below the mouth of the Big 
Miami, in the latter part of April or the beginning of May, 1790, when 
five Indians placed themselves in ambush between the cabin of Mr. Tan- 
ner and his field, and captured his son, a lad about nine years of age, 
with whom they crossed the Ohio. It appears also from other deposi- 
tions that in the fall preceding two men had been killed at or near the 

After the commencement of the settlements between the Miamis, a 
number of persons were killed along the Great Miami. John Filson, 
one of the original proprietors of Cincianati, having gone up the Great 
Miami, on an exploring expedition in company with Judge Symmes, 
became separated from the rest of the company, and, as is believed, was 
killed. The date of this event is given as October 1, 1788. 

In January, 1791, a large band of Indians led, it was afterward 
reported, by the notorious Simon Girty, were roving in the woods west of 
the Great Miami. Abner Hunt, one of Judge Symmes' surveyors, John 
S. Wallace, John Sloan and a Mr. Cunningham had been exploring the 
country west of the Great Miami, and on the morning of January 8, 
after roasting their venison and taking breakfast at the camp, set out on 
further explorations. About 100 yards from their camp they were beset 
by the savages in the rear, who fired a volley of eight or ten guns. Cun- 
ningham was killed on the spot; Hunt, being thrown from his horse, 
was made prisoner; Sloan, although shot through the body, kept on his 
horse and made his escape, Hunt's loose horse following him. Wallace 
was on foot at the time, and took to the woods pursued by two Indians, 
and being uncommonly active out-ran them. In about two miles he 
overtook Sloan, with Hunt's horse following him, which he caught and 
mounted. They made their way to Danlap's Station on the Great Miami. 
On the morning of January 10, Danlap's Station was attacked by a very 
large body of Indians, probably numbering 400 or 500. The block- 
house at that time was occupied by a small detachment oE United States 
troops, of about eighteen soldiers, commanded _^by Lieut. Kingsbury. 
The Indians compelled Abner Hunt to mount a stump and to demand the 
surrender of the station. This was refused, and the Indians made a des- 
perate effort to take the block-hoase, but it was bravely and successfully 
defended. Abner Hunt was cruelly tortured, and put to death in sight 
of the garrison. 5 



Mr. William McGlure, of Franklin County, Ind., whose father came 
from Kentucky and settled near Cleves in 1804, gave the following nar- 
rative in 1879: 

"I learned from Capt. Isaac Fuller, of this county (Franklin), that 
his father lived as early as 1794 or 1795 at North Bend and in the Big 
Bottom, and that he helped to raise the first patch of corn that was ever 
raised by white men in the Big Bottom. He also told me he had a 
brother about sixteen years of age taken by the Indians from North 
Bend, about 1795. He had been sent after the cows. The Indians de- 
coyed him by using a bell. His father, alone, followed them to near 
Brookville, and stayed all night on the place on which I now live, and 
watched the movements of the Indians, but was unable to effect his 
son's release. The Indians took him to the Upper Wabash country, and 
he remained with them about two years. He was left by his master at 
the camp with the squaws, with directions what to do, but after the In- 
dians left, one of the squaws, a half-sister of the celebrated Tecumseh, 
ordered him to work at something else, which he refused to do, when she 
tried to kill him. He kept out of her way for the time, believing she 
would kill him if she had an opportunity. Soon after he went with her 
fishing, and watching an opportunity, he struck her with a club on the 
back of the head, and knocked her into a deep hole of water, where he 
supposed she was drowned. Then he struck out for Detroit, where he 
arrived in about a week, subsisting himself as best he could, being fol- 
lowed by the Indians all the way, whom he succeeded in eluding. After 
he arrived in Detroit he found a friend, who secreted him for a day or 
two until the Indians ceased hunting for him, when he conveyed him 
over to Maldon, on the Canadian side of the Detroit Biver, from which 
place he went to Bufifalo, N. Y., and from there he went home through 
New York and Pennsylvania, and down the Ohio Kiver." 


In the spring of 1793 a number of families from Cohambia, Cincin- 
nati and North Bend, made a settlement at the mouth of the Big Miami, 
which was called the Point. Among the families from Columbia, I 
recollect those of Hugh Dunn, Benjamin Randolph and Isaac Mills. 
The arrival of Gen. Wayne's army, in the spring, increased the confi- 
dence of the new settlers, and caused other families to join them. They 
argued that the presence of so large an army at Cincinnati would deter 
the Indians and keep them quiet. But some who thought they under- 
stood the Indian character better, said they would constantly keep small 

*Dr. Ezra Ferris. 


parties of their most daring warriors hovering about our frontiers to 
watch the movements of the ai-my, and that the exposed settlements 
would be more liable to attack. With the last opinion Mr. William 
Smalley, who had escaped from Indian captivity, agreed. Mr. Smalley 
warned the people that they would have no abatement of hostilities until 
the Indians were whipped. He said they as much expected to defeat 
Wayne as they were certain they had defeated Harmar and St. Clair. 

During the summer of 1793-94, a Mr. Rittenhouse built a mill to 
grind corn on a small stream passing down from the hill to the Miami, 
through where the town of Cleves now stands. The mill was a wet- 
weather concern, the,stream being small, but it was a great accommoda- 
tion to the people at that time. In the after part of the winter or begin- 
ning of spring, after a rain sufficient to supply the mill with water, Mr. 
DeMoss, with a young man by the name of Micajah Dunn, and another 
named Thomas Fuller, went from the settlement before named (Goose 
Pond) to Rittenhouse's Mill, with each a bag of corn to have ground. 
They were detained so as not to start home until after dark; that, how- 
ever, produced but little inconvenience as there was very bright moon- 
light. A short distance after leaving the mill, they came to the residence 
of Mr. Wheeling, and seeing several persons there, Mr. Dunn and the 
other young man rode up to the door to make some inquiry, but Mr. 
DeMoss rode on expecting soon to be overtaken by them. 

Whilst sitting on their horses talking about twenty minutes, they 
heard the firing of guns in the direction DeMoss had gone; that did 
not create much alarm, however, as the people were in the habit of going 
out on moonlight nights to kill game. They started immediately after 
hearing the guns, and rode as briskly as their horses could travel with 
the load they had. They found DeMoss lying across the path dead, and 
the bag of meal by his side. It would be useless to attempt to describe 
their feelings in that trying moment, following a narrow path in the 
woods, surrounded by a large growth of trees, behind which they might 
easily imagine their enemies wei'e concealed. They reached their homes, 
gave the alarm, and a party was raised to go after and carry the corpse 
of DeMoss to his family. 

This bloody scene took place almost within hearing of Lawrence- 
burgh, had there been any person there to hear. The Mr. Dunn here 
alluded to, was the eldest brother of Judge Isaac Dunn, and the father 
of Gersham Dunn and others of Lawrenceburgh. 


In the winter of 1794-95, Benjamin Cox and Thomas Walter were 
killed by the Indians on the bank of Double Lick Run, one-fourth of a 


mile southwest of the stone which marks the Hue between Ohio and Indi- 
ana on the road leading from Lawrenceburg to Elizabethtown. Dr. 
Ezra Ferris thus describes this act of savage barbarity. 

"When in the state nature had formed it, and before it had been sub- 
dued by the hand of man, the Big Bottom had, in addition to the com- 
mon trees of the forest, including thickets of plum and haw trees, a 
luxuriant vegetable, sometimes called hog-weed, but commonly called 
horse-weed. This weed was thick on the ground, and in a few weeks in 
summer would grow to the height of from ten to fifteen feet, bearing a 
seed, which, when ripe, was eaten by hogs. Soon after the settlement 
was formed by the white people on the east side of the Big Miami (near 
the Point), some of their hogs crossed over the river to graze and feed in 
these thickets, and some of them remained so long that no one continued 
to exercise ownership over them or their increase, until,^like the deer in 
the woods, they became the property of any person who could find and 
take them. 

" Late in the fall of 1794 several persons from the settlement on the 
east side of the river crossed over into the bottom in search of hogs to 
use as meat for the ensuing season. Among them were Isaac Mills, 
Isaac Dunn, Benjamin Cox, Thomas Walters, Josej)h Randolph, Joseph 
Kitchel and Isaac Vanness. After an unsuccessful search for the most 
of the day it was proposed by some of them to return home for the night 
and renew the search the next morning, but Cox and Walters thought it 
would be best to encamp on the ground, so as to have the advantage of an 
early start in the morning; the balance disagreeing with them returned 
home, and they remained in the woods. Indications made it appear 
that after the others left they followed down Doable Lick Run, about 100 
yards below the place where the road from Lawrenceburgh to Elizabeth - 
town crosses it, where they selected a place to stay for the night, and 
made a fire to sleep by on the ground. Toward midnight the people at 
the settlement were very much alarmed at the report of several guns 
heard in the direction that Cox and Walters were left by the company, 
and fears were entertained of their safety. 

" Early the next morning a number of persons started to ascertain the 
fate of the two men. They repaired to the place where the company left 
them the previous evening, but not finding them, they scattered through 
the woods in search of them, and after a short time Mr. Garrett Vanness 
and Isaac Dunn, who were following down the creek, came upon the body 
of Mr. Cox near the place where they had built a fire. He had been 
shot and scalped and otherwise mangled. The balance of the company 
were called together, and after a little search found Mr. Walters 
dead in the woods, seventy or eighty yards from where he was first shot. 


and from appearance of things it was concluded that he had been first 
wounded and m ade an attempt to escape, but was followed, killed and 

"These bodies presented a horrible appearance, and they were the last 
killed in the Miami country. The barbarity the savages exercised on 
them gave little evidence of a disposition on their part to make peace. 
The traveler passing from Lawrenceburgh to Elizabethtown, as he 
crosses the run near the stone building, lately the residence of Thomas 
Miller, may at any time, by turning his head to the right, glance his 
eye over the spot where Benjamin Cox and Thomas Walters, the last vic- 
tims of savage barbarity in the war closing with "Wayne's treaty, were 
cruelly, murdered. " 

The time at which this atrocity was committed was later than that 
stated by Dr. Ferris. Since commencing the work of compiling this 
history we have been enabled to tix the date from the tile of the Centinel 
of the Northicestern Territovy. In its issue of February 7, 1795, that 
journal contained the following item: "Arrived here yesterday from the 
mouth of the Great Miami, Mr. Isaac Mills who informs us that on Monday 
evening last the Indians killed two men by the names of Benjamin Cox 
and Thomas Walter, about one mile and a half from that place." Accord- 
ing to this the date of the murder was February 2, 1795. 


The long war which was ended with Wayne's treaty at Greenville 
was a cruel one. The Miami country was known as the "Miami Slaugh- 
ter House." The bloody depredations of the savages so incensed the 
settlers that they were induced to take measures for their protection 
which it is not pleasant to record. It is not perhaps generally known that 
men of high standing formed a committee to publish a notice offering 
premiums for Indian scalps and to keep the scalp money subscribed by 
"many good citizens with a design to check the incursions of the hostile 
Indians." A portion of Dearborn County was included in the district 
within which young men were offered inducements to range the woods 
"to prevent savages from committing depredations on defenseless citi- 
zens." Early in the spring of 1794, a subscription paper was in circu- 
lation at Columbia to provide premiums for scalps of Indians. And in 
the Centinel of the Northwest Territory of May 17, 1794, a committee 
consisting of L. Woodward, Darius C. Orcutt and James Lyons, of Cin- 
cinnati, and William Brown, Ignatius Ross and John Reily, of Colum- 
bia, publish a notice offering rewards for Indian scalps taken between 
the 18th of April and the 25th of December, 1794, in a district begin- 
ning on the Ohio ten miles above the mouth of the Little Miami, extend- 


ing ten miles west of the Great Miami, and twenty-five back into the 
country, above where Harmar's trace crosses the Little Miami, and in a 
direct line west. Rewards were offered as follows: 

"That for every scalp having the right ear appendant, for the first 
ten Indians who shall be killed within the time and limits aforesaid, by 
those who are subscribers to the said articles, shall, whenever collected, 
be paid the sum of $136; and for every scalp of the like number of Indians, 
having the right ear appendant, who shall be killed within the time and 
limits aforesaid by those who are not subscribers, the Federal troops ex 
cepted, shall, whenever collected, be paid the sum of $100; and for 
every scalp having the right ear appendant of the second ten Indians 
who shall be killed within the time and limits aforesaid, by those who 
are subscribers to the said articles, shall, whenever collected as afore- 
said, be paid the sum of $117; and for every scalp having the right ear 
appendant of the second ten Indians who shall be killed within the time 
and limits aforesaid by those who are not subscribers to the said articles 
shall, whenever collected, be paid the sum of $95." 

Wayne's decisive victory in August, 1794, put a check to the depre- 
dations, but it did not at once reduce them to absolute submission. De 
Moss, Cox and Walters were all killed several months after the victory 
at Fallen Timbers. According to Dr. Ezra Ferris the Indians continued 
their hostilities on the settlers at Columbia for some months after 
Wayne's victory. Robert Griffin and a young Paul and David Jennings 
were killed, and Reason Bailey was captured by the Indians in the vicin- 
ity of Columbia, all in the fall of 1794. 

The Centinel of the Northu-'est Territory of March 14, 1795, an- 
nounced that on Saturday evening, March 6, the Indians stole eight 
horses from North Bend; the next morning Lieut. Aladon Symmes with 
a party of twenty-seven men pursued them about sixty miles and retook 
the horses; but unfortunately the Indians discovering his party made 
their escape. As late as May 9, 1795, the Indians stole nine horses 
from Ludlow's Station, only five miles from Cincinnati, and though pur- 
sued made their escape. 

The treaty of peace at Greenville, concluded August 3, 1795, put an 
end to the murder of white men by Indians in the Miami settlements, 
but horses continued to be stolen by them. Judge Symmes thought that 
white men who bought horses from the Indians were to blame, as the 
Indians would steal horses to take the place of those they had sold. 
The judge wrote to Gen. Dayton, in 1796, that he wished Congress would 
make it a penal offense for a white man to buy a horse from an Indian, as 
no Indian would walk when he could steal a horse. 

Sometimes, however, a white man would steal a horse from the In- 


dians, and we have the record of the conviction of at least one man for 
this offense. In March, 1796, at Cincinnati, the seat of justice for the 
whole Miami region, Daniel McKean, lately arrived from New Jersey, 
was found guilty of stealing a horse from an Indian. He was sentenced 
to pay the red man $1, and receive thirty-nine lashes in the most public 
streets of the town, and bear on the front of his hat, during the inflic- 
tion of the punishment, a paper, with the inscription in large letters: 
"I stole a horse from the Indians." 



Some Very Early Settlements Attempted Northwest of the Ohio- 
Important Dates— Tanner's Station— Ma j. Byrd's Stockade Near 
THE Site or Lawrenceburgh— Pioneer Adventures at the Mouth 
OF the Great Miami— The Story of Benjamin Walker— Progress 
OF THE Early Settlements— Early Surveys and Sales of Land- 
Indian Bands Encamp Near the Settlements— Early Commercial 
Intercourse and Prices — Pioneer Life— Log-Cabins and Their 
Furniture— The Primitive Forests and Wild Beasts— Character 
of the Early Emigrants. 

THE question who were the first white men to build their cabins in 
Dearborn and Ohio Counties, is an interesting one, but it can 
now never be satisfactorily answered. One cause of the uncertainty in 
this matter is the fact that settlements were attempted on the northwest 
side of the Ohio at a very early period, some of them being commenced 
not long after the treaty of Fort Mcintosh, in January, 1785. Settle- 
ments were attempted at various places along the Ohio, but were pre- 
vented by the authorities of the United States. Proclamations by Con- 
gress were issued against settling upon the public domain as early as 
1785. Hundreds of families had built their cabins on the Indian side 
of 'the Ohio, previous to the settlement at Marietta, in April, 1788, and 
were driven away by the military power of the United States. Jan- 
uary 24, 1785, the commissioner of Indian affairs instructed Col. Har- 
mar " to employ such force as he may judge necessary in driving off 
persons attempting to settle on the lands of the United States." 

From the correspondence published in the St. Clair papers, it appears 
that the number of persons who had established themselves on the 
northwest side of the Ohio as intruders on the government lands before 


the settlements at Marietta and Cincinnati, was mucli larger than is 
usually supposed. John Emerson, March 12, 1785, took upon him- 
self the authority to issue a proclamation for elections by the inhabitants 
of the west side of the Ohio for the choosing of members of a conven- 
tion for forming a constitution, the elections to take place April 10, 
1785; one at the mouth of the Miami, one at the mouth of the Scioto, 
one on the Muskingum, and one at the house of Jonas Menzous, the loca- 
tion of which was not given. Ensign John Armstrong reported early 
in 1785, that from the best information he could obtain, there were 
1,500 persons on the Miami and Scioto and upward of 300 families on 
the Hockhocking and Muskingum, and down the Ohio for a great dis- 
tance there was scarcely one bottom without one or more families. It 
is not improbable that some of these early settlements were attempted 
below the mouth of the Great Miami and within the limits of Dearborn 
and Ohio Counties. These early intruders on the government lands 
were dispossessed by the authorities. 

To those who are acquainted with the bloody character of the war 
waged by the Indians against the white settlements northwest of the Ohio, 
it will appear highly improbable that there could have been any white set 
tiers below the Great Miami from the commencement of that war in 1789 
until Wayne's treaty of peace in 1795. It should be remembered that 
during this savage war there was scarcely any military protection for the 
Miami settlements. Judge Burnett says: " It is a perversion of language 
to apply the phrase 'military protection ' to anything enjoyed by the 
Miami people at the time when protection was most wanted. If it be 
asked what protection they really did receive during the period of great 
est exposure, the answer may be given in a few words. Eighteen sol- 
diers were stationed at Columbia in the fall of 1 788 ; one company 
halted at North Bend thirty-four days in the winter of 1788-89; after 
which a detachment of eighteen, rank and file, landed at the same place, 
where they remained a few days, and then proceeded to Cincinnati." If 
we add to these Maj. Byrd's battalion at the stockade on the west side of 
the Great Miami during the last months of the Indian war, we have the 
entire military protection afforded to three infant settlements extending 
nearly thirty miles in an enemy's country. 

With these facts before us it would seem highly improbable that 
any families with women and childi-en were permanently settled in Dear- 
born or Ohio Counties much before the ratification. of the treaty at Green- 
ville, although some of the more daring woodmen may have ventured to 
build huts north of the Ohio and below the Great Miami soon after 
Wayne's victory. If so, they were willing not only to brave dangers 
from savage foes, but to endure privations of a lonely life in the wilder- 


ness. Family traditions concerning early settlements often confound 
the date of the first visit of a pioneer to his future home with that of his 
first settlement. Some of the early settlers of Dearborn and Ohio Coun- 
ties came f I'om Kentucky, and some of them may have remained on the 
south side of the river awaiting the time when they could safely remove 
north of the Ohio. Doubtless in some cases crops of corn were grown 
north of the river by those who still lived in the more secure settlements 
on the Kentucky side. 


The following dates exhibit the progress of the white man's domin- 
ion 'along the Great Miami: 
\/ First settlement at North Bend, February, 1789. 

Dunlap's Station, protected by a strong fortification, on the east side 
of the Great Miami, seventeen miles above Cincinnati, established early 
in the spring of 1790. 

Maj. Byrd's stockade on the west side of the Great Miami, erected 
in the winter of 1793-94. 

Wayne's victory, August 20, 1794. 
V Hamilton laid out on the east side of the Great Miami, December 
17, 1794. 

Wayne's treaty of peace, August 3, 1795. 

Government survey of lands, west of the Great Miami, commenced 
in 1798. 

Act of Congress providing for sale of lands west of the Great Miami, 
May 10, 1800. 

First sale of lands west of the Great Miami, first Mondav in April, 

tanner's STATION. 

This station gave name to Tanner's Creek, and was situated opposite 
the mouth of the creek on the site of Petersburg. The following account 
of the station is from Collins' History of Kentucky: "Tanner's Station, on 
the Ohio River, twenty-two miles below Cincinnati, on the site of the 
present town of Petei'sburg, was settled by and named after Rev. John 
Tanner, the first Baptist preacher in this part of Kentucky, certainly 
before 1790. In April, 1785, a company from Pennsylvania, composed 
of John Hindman, William West, John Simmons, John Seft, old Mr. 
Carlin and their families cleared thirty or forty acres on the claim of Mr. 
Tanner — the first clearing in Boone County, Ky. They remained there 
a month or six weeks, then went to Ohio to make improvements, but did 
not remain there. In 1790 John Tanner, a little boy of nine years, was 
made prisoner by the Indians, and in 1791, an elder brother, Edward, 



nearly fifteen (both sons of Rev. John Tannei'). Edward made his escape 
two days after his capture and returned home. Except that the Indians 
told Edward of their having taken John the year before, the latter was 
not heard of by his friends for twenty-four years. He spent his life 
among the Indians, and, in 1818, was employed by the United States 
authorities at Sault Ste. Marie as an interpreter. The father removed in 
1798 to New Madrid, Mo., and died there a few years after." 

A confirmation of the very early date of the establishment of this 
station is found in the journal of Maj. Denny at Fort Finney, who 
records that on March 20, 1786, two of the people at "a station six miles 
below us on the Kentucky side," had been attacked by the Indians, one of 
them killed, and the other wounded. 


Early in 1794 Maj. Byrd, with a battalion of troops of Gren. 
Wayne's army erected a stockade on the west bank of the Great Miami, 
two miles above Lawrenceburgh, where he I'emained until the treaty of 
Greenville in August, 1795. The purpose of the stockade was to pi'otect 
keel -boats with supplies for Wayne's army, which might descend the 
Ohio and ascend the Great Miami as far as Fort Hamilton, and to pro- 
tect the settlements on the east side of the Great Miami. It was in De- 
cember, 1793, that Gen. Wayne built Fort Greenville. He detailed a 
strong guard for the defense of Fort Hamilton, and when the army 
went into winter quai'ters at Fort Greenville, he directed a force under 
Maj. Byrd, known as the^Rowdy Regiment, to encamp on the fii-st high 
ground on the west bank of the Great Miami, above its mouth, for the 
purpose before mentioned. The site of the stockade is known as Rowdy 
Camp to this day in the neighborhood of Lawrenceburgh. The trans- 
portation of supplies for the army at Greenville from Cincinnati was a 
business which made the track up the Mill Creek Valley, first opened by 
Gen. St. Clair, a great thoroughfare for teams, citizens and soldiers. 
Both citizens and soldiers were sometimes waylaid by the Indians, killed 
and plundered. When there was sufficient stage of water in the Great 
Miami the best way of transporting heavy articles to Fort Hamilton was 
by keel boats. 


On Judge Symmes' second tour West, in the spring of 1790, among 
other families accompanying him were three families of Guards — Alex- 
ander, Gersham and Guard, cousins. Alexander, his wife, Hannah, 

and their four children, settled at North Bend; and Gersham Guard and 

*By Samuel Morriaoii. 


family and his brother and family, settled some five miles east. Alex- 
ander's children were Timothy, David and Bailey. At this period there 
was one company of troops stationed at the Bend to guard the settle- 
ments. The latter part of this year (1790) was spent in rearing cabins 
and hunting to keep the family in venison. The next spring, 1791, their 
colony was increased by the arrival of Capt. Joseph Hayes and family; 
his two married sons, Job and Joseph Hayes, Jr., their wives and chil- 
dren; his two Bons-in-law; Thomas Miller, Sr., wife and 'five children; 
James Bennett and wife; Benjamin Walker, wife and three children; 
Samuel, John, Joseph and their sister, Jane Walker, Isaac Polk, Garrett 
Van Ness and Joseph Kitchell. This added thirteen effective men to 
their colony. This entire colony remained as best they could upon their 
scanty means, hunting, farming a little, while some of them had to go 
to Big Bone Licks to manufacture salt. 

In 1793 Capt. Joseph Hayes took a lease at the mouth of the Big 
Miami River, and nearly the whole colony removed after having been 
driven out of their cabins by the great flood of that year. At this place 
they had previously erected their log-cabins, in the form of block- 
bouses. Here they were joined by several other families, among them, 
William Gerard, wife and two sons, Eli and Elias, and their daughter 
(Mrs. John Crist), John White and wife. Alexander Gaard and family 
packed up all their goods in a pirogue for the purpose of removing down 
to the mouth of the Great Miami. Here they landed the pirogue and 
Mrs. Guard and the children got out to walk, while Mr. Guard and 
Capt. Hayes undertook to take the pirogue's load of goods around into 
the Miami. The Miami being a little swollen, ran out with a strong 
current. This bore the boat against the root of a sunken tree, upsetting 
the boat and thereby losing all their goods, and came near drowning the 
two men. They, however, succeeded in getting out. Thus Mr. Guard 
and family were left without anything except what they had upon their 
backs. Among other things they lost all of their money, which was in 
silver. Mr. Guard procured a cabin and moved into it. In 1796 Mr. 
Guard and family moved west of the Great Miami, and settled in that 
beautiful bottom west of Elizabethtown, and from thence into Dearborn 

From 1793 to 1795 a battalion of troops under command of Maj. 
Byrd were stationed at a stockade on the right bank of the Great Miami 
River one and one-half miles from its mouth to guard these exposed settle- 
ments. But notwithstanding this garrison and troops, the Indians occa- 
sionally stepped in and murdered the whites and stole horses. In the 
summer of 1794, John Tanner ran a keel- boat from his station to Fort 
Hamilton for the purpose of supplying the troops at that place with 


provisions; while rounding the island in the Great Miami, near the 
mouth of Whitewater, the Indians in ambush fired on his canoe, killing 
a colored man, his bowsman. That island ever since goes by the name 
of Negro Island. Not long after the above occurrence, Eli Gerard, of 
the Hayes Station, was sent over west of the Miami River to hunt their 
horses, which had strayed off. Three Indians gave chase to him and 
pursued him to the Miami River. Gerard plunged into the river and 
swam across; when the Indians came upon the bank he was two-thirds 
of the way over, and a tomahawk was thrown at him. Alexander Guard 
died about 1810. 


From the earliest recollections of the writer he has heard various 
reasons given for the removal of Mr. Walker to this county, and the se- 
cluded life he led for a number of years in this unbounded wilderness. 
These stories were so different that it left the mind in doubt as to the 
truth of any, but all so far agreed that he had done some deed of daring 
that required him to leave his home and native State, and after wander 
ing hundreds of miles through an unknown country he found a stopping 
place near the mouth of Laughery Creek, where he lived alone, hunting 
for food, and on the constant lookout to avoid the dangers that surround- 
ed him. All these, being told over at the winter fireside, surrounded his 
name with a kind of romance that mystery aided to impress on our 
youthful mind. 

And while we would gladly have removed this impression of mystery, 
we never took the liberty of referring to the subject in presence of any 
of the family, but since we commenced writing these reminiscences of 
pioneer life we have been assisted by the memoiy of others with interest- 
ing facts that may be presented to the reader, and, among others, with a 
reliable history of Benjamin Walker, and the occurrence that drove him 
from wife and children. 

As stated above, Mr. Walker lived alone, but in a few years others 
came to the neighborhood, and, having decided to make this his home, 
he got word to his wife to join him, which she did, with their three chil- 

While living in this forest home they were often visited by an Indian 
chief, called Captain Green. One day this Indian came into the cabin 
with such an expression of rage on his countenance, and tomahawk in 
hand, that the relator, then a little boy, hid behind his mother's chair. 
The chief, addressing himself to Walker, said: "You kill Indian!" 
Walker instantly sprang to his feet at this unexpected arraignment, and 

*By George W. Lane. 


bravely replied: "Yes, kill Indian — me kill two Indians! " and stopping 
for a moment, as if to weigh the effect, added: "They killed my father!" 
The chief threw down his tomahawk, and held out his hand — " Right, 
right! — me kill, too!" 

This led to an explanation of the affair, and the boy, who had quailed 
before the savage eye of the wild man of the wilderness, heard the story 
from his father's lips, and told it to John Cobb, Esq., a few years since, 
while on a visit to Mr. James Walker, in Illinois, and Mr. Cobb to the 
writer, who, with the assistance of George W. Chesman, will try and 
place it in shape for the reader. 

More than eighty years ago (1876) two Indians visited a village in 
Pennsylvania, and, among other things, got to bragging how many 
whites they had killed during the Revolutionary war, and showing a 
stick with notches cut, they pointed to it, and said "so many." A bystander 
noticed a few long marks, as a boy tallying a game, and wished to know 
what they meant, and was told that the long marks were for officers, and 
one of the longest was for Col. Walker. The mention of this name at- 
tracted the attention of three young men, who had been left orphans 
years before. The Indian continued: "Col. Walker no brave — he beg — 
wanted to come home, " and with many taunts, and many particulars of 
his death, these fatherleys boys listened in silence, but after the Indians 
had gotten through and left town, these three held a council, and decided 
that these Indians should never brag again of killing their father, and 
started in pursuit. 

After they had gone some distance one of the brothers hesitated and 
advised them not to go any farther, but the two elder were determined 
to go on and^ drove this one back. They went on and overtook the 
Indians near a stream. Ben had with him a short sword, John a gun. 
They had agreed upon a plan of attack when they got near enough. 
The one with the gun was to shoot the Indian in advance, and Benja- 
min was to attack the other with his sword. At the signal the gun did 
its work, but not effectually; the Indian fell, but only wounded. Ben 
raised his sword to strike, but as it came down it struck a limb and the 
Indian started to ran. Walker after him. The Indian plunged into a 
stream, but not alone. They struggled in the water for some time, un- 
til the Indian drew a knife, which Walker wrenched from him and 
killed him. By this time the wounded Indian had found his feet, and 
seeing the contest in the water, tried to get there in time to assist his 
friend, but his speed did not serve him, for when he got there Walker 
had killed the first and soon dispatched the second. This over, a new 
trouble met him, some of the citizens of the village, suspecting some- 
thing might be on hand of the character related, had also sought the 


lonely woods, and before young Walker had left the stream, came in 
sight and spoke of arresting him. He told them not to undertake it, 
as enough blood had been spilled that day, and they might take his 
word for it that he would not be taken alive. They did take his word. 
The young Walkers avoided the officers by hiding in a cellar for 
nine days, when they took advantage of a storm and reached the woods, 
then the mountains, then the Ohio Valley, the 3'ounger (John) stopping 
in the western part of Ohio, and the hero of our story coming on to 
Dearborn County, where he resided a number of years, improved a 
valuable farm and was blessed with a large, worthy and respectable 


The details of the history of the early settlements will be found in 
the chapters of this work devoted to the township histories. A brief 
resume of some of the very earliest settlements is here given. Some 
of the dates here given are taken from the historical sketch prepared for 
deposit in the corner-stone of the court house at Lawrenceburgh and 
others from the best attainable sources of information. 

Early in January, 1796, Adam Flake and family settled on South 
Hogan Creek. 

In February, 1796, Ephraim Morrison, a soldier of the Revolution, 
built the first log-cabin and cut away the first trees on the bank of the 
Ohio, just above the mouth of Hogan Creek, where Aurora now stands. 

Early in May, 1796, Capt. Joseph Hayes and family and Thomas 
Miller and family settled in the big bottom three and one half miles 
north of Lawrenceburgh. 

Sometime in 1798 Henry Hardin and family settled on the site of 
Hardinsburgh ; William Gerard and family and George Crist settled one 
mile above Hardinsburgh; Daniel Lynn, William Blue, David Blue and 
Benjamin Walker settled on Laughery Creek; and William Allensworth, 
Isaac Allen, Judge John Livingston, John Dawson and John White 
made settlements. In the same year William Ross settled at the mouth 
of Laughery Creek, but afterward moved further up that creek. 

In 1797 Daniel Perrin and several persons named Cherry made 

^j In 1798 John Fulton and his son Samuel, with their families, arrived 
at the site of Rising Sun; Robert and Jesse Drake settled on Grant's 
Creek; Absalom Gray and family settled between Hogan and Laughery 
Creeks; Amos, Henry and James Bruce settled on North Hogan Creek; 
George Glen and George Grove settled in the vicinity of Hogan 
Creek; Ebenezer Foot and family and Francis and Nicholas Cheek made 
their settlements. 



October 11, 1798, Israel Ludlow commenced to run ^and mark 
out the first principal meridian, now the State line between Ohio and 
Indiana. Benjamin Chambers and William Ludlow were the United 
States surveyors who surveyed most of the land in Dearborn and Ohio 


In the spring of 1799, Benjamin Chambers carried the surveyor's 
compass and measuring chain over the land on which Rising Sun is sit- 

In 1799 Benjamin Avery located on land in Randolph Township 
adjoining the northern limits of Rising Sun. 

The foregoing does not purport to be a complete list of those who 
settled in the two counties before the year 1800. The pioneers, however, 
whose settlements date back to the last century, were comparatively few 
in number. Those who located in the two counties before the first Gov- 
ernment sale of lands, generally expected to secure their titles and save 
the improvements they had made by purchasing of the Government the 
tracts on which they had settled as soon as it was possible so to do. Yet 
but few tracts were purchased in 1801, the first year in which sales were 
made by the Government of lands west of the Great Miami. The earli- 
est settlers usually established themselves near the Ohio or the larger 
streams flowing into that river. 

For some years after the whites made their homes in southeast Indiana 
parties of Indians encamped occasionally near the settlements. They 
usually behaved civilly, though they were much inclined toward horse 
stealing. When Ephraim Morrison first settled here in 1796, the notori- 
ous white savage, Simon Girty, was sometimes in this region. On one 
occasion Blue Jacket borrowed a saddle from Morrison in order to 
accompany Girty to Detroit. The saddle was brought back according to 
promise. " During the Indian troubles which preceded the battle of 
Tippecanoe, and continued throughout the last war with England, much 
alarm was frequently caused by the movements of the Indians through- 
out all the settlements in Indiana, and indeed at Cincinnati. Block- 
houses were built in Dearborn and Ohio Counties for protection, and in 
some cases families removed to more secure localities. The population 
of Dearborn County did not increase rapidly until after the close of the 
war of 1812. 

February 2, 1798, Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury, reported 
to the United States Senate that no contracts had yet been made for sur- 
veying the public lands below the Great Miami, but that surveys were 
expected to be commenced during the coming season; and it appears that 
surveys were commenced below the Great Miami before the close of that 


These lands were first offered for sale at Cincinnati on the first 
Monday in April, 1801, under the direction of the register of the land 
office and either the governor or secretary of the Northwest Territory, 
The sales were to be made at public auction for three weeks, but no lands 
were to be sold for less than $2 per acre. All lands remaining unsold at 
the close of the three weeks of public sales, might be disposed of at 
private sale at not less than $2 per acre. The lands were offered in 
sections and half sections. 

The public lands at first were sold on credit, the deferred payments 
bearing interest. This system was a disastrous one. A great debt due 
the Government accumulated to such proportions that it far exceeded the 
ability of the people to pay. In 1820 the system was changed; all 
lands were thenceforth sold for cash; the price was reduced to $1.25 per 
acre, and lands could be bought in small tracts of eighty acres. 


In the Centinel of the Northwest Territory for January 17, 1795, 
Elijah Craig, Jr., advertised from the "Mouth of the Kentucky" that he 
would have boats ready by the 1st of February at that point to transfer 
goods. Freight of goods to Frankfort would be 50 cents per 100; to 
Sluke's warehouse, 75 cents, and Dick's River, $1.25. 

The rates of freight on public property carried by private boats from 
Fort Washington to Fort Hamilton up the Great Miami, were — for flour 
per barrel $1.10; whisky, $1.33; corn, 26| cents per bushel, and all 
other property 50 cents per 100 pounds. From Fort Washington to the 
mouth of Stillwater, $3.30 for flour, $4 for whisky, 83^ cents for corn 
and $1.60 per 100 for other articles. 

At the time of the first settlements in Dearborn County, Cincinnati 
was the principle market for the whole Miami country. It was then a 
little village, shown by a census taken in 1795 to contain a population 
of 500 persons, living in ninety-four log-cabins and ten frame houses. 
A voyage to New Orleans was then made by flat-'boats in 100 days. For 
the journey eastward, the primitive pack-horses were beginning to be 
exchanged for the large and heavy old-time Pennsylvania wagons with 
four and six horse bell teams. As a consequence of the difficulty attend- 
ing commercial intercourse, every article the Miami farmer could produce 
was low; every foreign article he was compelled to buy was relatively 
high. Corn and oats were 10 or 12 cents a bushel, sometimes 8 cents; 
wheat, 30 or 40 cents; beef, $1.50 to $2, and pork, $1 to $2 per 100. 
On the other hand, here are some of the prices for foreign articles our 
fathers paid at Cincinnati in 1799: coffee, 50 cents per pound; tea, 80 
cents; pins, 25 cents a paper; ginghams, 50 cents per yard; fine linen, 


$1 per yard; brown calico, 7 shillings 6 pence to 10 shillings; goslin 
green and gray cotton velvet, 7 shillings 6 pence to 11 shillings 6 pence; 
cassimere, $3 per yard; cotton stockings, 6 shillings to 15 shillings; 
bonnet ribbon, $1 per yai'd; "thin linen for flour- sifters," 10 shillings 
per yard; " small piece of ribbon for tying cues," 11 pence. 

There was little encouragement for the furmer to raise more than he 
could use at home. In 1806, a traveler wrcte that he had no conception 
how the farmers can maintain themselves with flour at $3.50 per barrel, 
and pork $2.50 per 100. The merchants, however, he said, made an 
exorbitant profit. In four years, those who came from Baltimore or 
Philadelphia with goods obtained on credit, had paid their debts and 
lived at their ease. There was little use for corn even for cattle or hogs, 
as the cattle found subsistence on the wild grasses of the woods, and 
hogs lived and fattened on the mast of hickory nuts, acorns and beech 


A truthful account of the mode of life among the early settlers of 
the Ohio forests cannot fail to interest and instruct. As the backwoods 
period recedes, its interest increases. It is to be regretted that more of 
the traditions of the pioneers, giving homely but faithful pictures of the 
every-day life of the early settlers have not been preserved. Their rec- 
ollections of their journeys from the older States over the Alleghany 
Mountains, the Hat-boat voyage down the Ohio, the clearing in the wil- 
derness, the f.L-st winter in the rude cabin and the scanty stores of provis- 
ions, the cultivation of corn among the roots and stumps, the cabin- 
raisings and log-rollings, the home manufacturing of furniture and 
clothing, the hunting parties and corn-huskings, their social customs 
and the thousand scenes and novel incidents of life in the woods, would 
form a more entertaining and instructive chapter than their wars with 
the Indians or their government annals. .Far different was the life of 
the settler on the Ohio from that of the frontiersman of to-day. The 
railroad, the telegraph and the daily newspaper did not then bring the 
comforts and luxuries of civilization to the cabin-door of the settler; nor 
was the farm marked out with a furrow and made ready for cultivation 
by turning over the sod. 

The labor of opening a farm in a forest of large oaks, maples and 
hickories, was very great, and the difficulty was increased by the thick 
growing spice bushes. Not only were tx'ees to be cut down; the branch- 
es were to be cut off from the trunk, and, with the undergrowth of 
bushes, gathered together for burning. The trunks of the large trees 
were to be divided and rolled into heaps and reduced to ashes. With 
hard labor the unaided settlor could clear and burn an acre of land in 



three weeks. It usually required six or seven years for the pioneer to 
open a small farm and build a better house than his first cabin of round 
logs. The boys had work to do in gathering the brush into heaps. A 
common mode of clearing was to cut down all the trees of the diameter 
of eighteen inches or less, clear off the undergrowth and deaden the 
larger trees by girdling them with the ax, and allowing them to stand 
until they decayed and fell. This method delayed the final clearing of 
the land for eight or ten years, but when the trunks fell they were 
usually dry enough to be burned into such lengths as to be rolled to- 

The first dwellings of the settlers were cabins made of round logs 
notched at the ends, the spaces between the logs filled in with sticks of 
wood and daubed with clay. The roof was of clapboards held to their 
places by poles reaching across the roof called weight-poles. The floor 
was of puncheons, or planks split from logs, two or three inches in 
thickness, hewed on the upper side. The fire-place was made of logs 
lined with clay or with undressed stone, and was at least six feet wide. 
The chimney was often made of split sticks plastered with clay. The door 
was of clapboards hung on wooden hinges and fastened with a wooden 
latch. The opening for the window was not unfrequently covered with 
paper made more translucent with oil or lard. Such a house was built 
by a neighborhood gathering with no tools but the ax and the frow, and 
often was finished in a single day. 

The furniture of the first rude dwellings was made of puncheons. 
Cupboards, seats and tables were thus made by the settler himself. 
Over the door was placed the trusty flint-lock rifle, next to the ax in use- 
fulness to the pioneer, and near it the powder-horn and bullet-pouch. 
Almost every family had its little spinning-wheel for flax and big 
spinning-wheel for wool. The cooking utensils were few and simple, 
and the cooking was all done at the fireplace. The long winter 
evenings were spent in contentment, but not in idleness. There was 
corn to shell and tow to spin at home, and the corn-huskings to attend 
at the neighbors'. There were a few books to read, but newspapers were 
rare. The buckeye log, because of its incombustibility, was valuable as 
a back-log, and hickory-bark cast into the fire-place threw a pleasing 
light over a scene of domestic industry and contentment. 

Rev. William C. Smith, in his "Indiana Miscellanies," thus speaks 
of the way of lighting these primitive homes: "During the day the door 
of the cabin was kept open to afford light, and at night, through the 
winter season, light was emitted from the fire-place, where huge logs 
were kept burning. Candles and lamps were out of the question for a 
few years. When these came into use they were purely domestic in their 


manufacture. Candles were prepared by taking a wooden rod some ten 
or twelve inches in length, wrapping a strip of cotton or linen around it, 
then covering it with tallow pressed on with the hand. These 'sluts,' 
as they were sometimes called, answered the purpose of a very large can- 
dle, and afforded light for several nights. Lamps were prepared by 
dividing a large turnip in the middle, scraping out the inside quite down 
to the rind, then inserting a stick, say three inches in length, in the cen- 
ter, so that it would stand upright. A strip of cotton or linen cloth was 
then wrapped around it, and melted lard or deer's tallow was poured in 
till the turnip rind was full, when the lamp was ready for use. By the 
light of these during the long winter evenings the women spun and 
sewed, and the men read when books could be obtained. When neither 
lard nor tallow could be had, the large blazing fire supplied the needed 
light. By these great fire places many cuts of thread have been spun, 
many a yard of linsey woven, and many a frock and buckskin pantaloons 

The cabin-raising and the log-rolling were labors of the settlers, in 
which the assistance of neighbors was essential and cheerfully given. 
When a large cabin was to be raised, preparations would be made before 
the appointed day, the trees would be cut down, the logs dragged in and 
the foundation laid and the skids and forks made ready. Early in the 
morning of the day fixed, the neighbors gathered from miles around; the 
captain and corner-men were selected, and the work went on with bois- 
terous hilarity until the walls were up and the roof weighted down. 

The cabin of round logs was generally succeeded by a hewed log- 
house more elegant in appearance and more comfortable. Indeed, houses 
could be made of logs as comfortable as any other kind of building, and 
were erected in such manner as to conform to the taste and means of all 
descriptions of persons. For large families, a double cabin was common; 
that is, two houses, ten or twelve feet apart, with one roof covering the 
whole, the space between serving as a hall for various uses. Henry Clay, 
in an early speech on the public lands, referred to the different kinds of 
dwellings sometimes to be seen standing together, as a gratifying evidence 
of the progress of the new States. "I have," said he, ''often witnessed 
this gratifying progress. On the same farm you may sometimes behold, 
standing together, the first rude cabin of round and unhewn logs, and 
wooden chimneys; the hewed log-house chinked and shingled, with stone 
or brick chimneys; and lastly, the comfortable stone or brick dwelling, 
each denoting the different occupants of the farm or the several stages of 
the condition of the same occupant. What other nation can boast of 
such an outlet for its increasing population, such bountiful means of pro- 
moting their prosperity and securing their independence?" 


The wearing apparel was chiefly of home manufacture, The flax and 
wool necessary for clothing were prepared and spun in the family, cotton 
being comparatively scarce. Cax'ding wool by hand was common. 
Weaving, spinning, dyeing, tailoring for the family were not unfre- 
quently all carried on in the household. Not a few of the early settlers 
made their own shoes. Wool dyed with walnut bark received the name 
of butternut. Cloth made of mixed linen and wool, called linsej, or 
linsey-woolsey, of a light indigo blue color, was common for men's wear. 
A full suit of buckskin, with moccasins, was sometimes worn by a hunter, 
but it was not common. 

With the early settlers, almost the only modes of locomotion were on 
foot and on horseback. The farmer took his corn and wheat to mill on 
horseback; the wife went to market or visited her distant friends on 
horseback. Salt, hardware and merchandise were brought to the new 
settlements on pack-horses. The immigrant came to his new home not 
unfx'equently with provisions, cooking utensils and beds packed on horses, 
his wife and small children on another horse. Lawyers made the circuit 
of their courts, doctors visited their patients, and preachers attended 
their preaching stations on horseback. 

The country was infested with horse-thieves. The unsettled condi- 
tion of the country made the recovery of stolen horses very difficult. The 
horse-stealing proclivity of the Indians was one of the chief causes of the 
hatred of the early settlers toward the red men; but after all depredations 
by the Indians had ceased, the farmers continued to suffer much from horse- 
thieves, who were believed to be often organized into gangs. The great 
value of the horse, and the difficulty of recovering one when run away, 
caused the pioneer to look with naalignant hatred upon the horse-thief. 
The early legislatures were composed almost entirely of farmers, and they 
endeavored to break up this kind of larceny by laws inflicting severe pen- 

The little copper distillery was to be found in most neighborhoods. 
Rye and corn whisky was a common drink. It was kept in the cupboard 
or on the shelf of almost every^family, and sold at all the licensed tav- 
erns, both in the town and country. The earh^ merchants advertised 
that good rye whisky, at 40 cents a gallon, would be taken in exchange 
for goods. Houses and lots were offered for sale, flour or whisky taken in 
full payment. It was a part of hospitality to offer the bottle to the vis- 
itor. Whisky in a tin cup was passed around at the house-raising, the 
log rolling, and in the harvest field. It is a mooted question not easily 
settled whether intemperance was more common then than now. That 
the spirituous liquors of those days were purer is admitted, but the notion 
that they were less intoxicating seems not to have been well founded. 


Excess in drinking then as now brought poverty, want and death. The 
early settler with the purest of liquors could drink himself to death. 

The breaking up of ground and cultivation of crops was attended 
with difficulty. The bar share and shovel plows, and later the bull-plow 
with wooden moldboard, husk collars and tugs, and rope traces and 
withes; the sickle first, then the cradle and scythe, and threshing with a 
flail, or treading out with horses, and cleaned by uieans of a sheet by the 
aid of several persons, characterized the implements of farming. 

It is not easy to describe the forest as it appeared in its primitive 
luxuriance to the eyes of the pioneers. No woodland to-day, even in the 
most unfrequented spot, wears the rich and exuberant garb which nature 
gave it. Under the transforming power of civilization, the earth assumes 
a new aspect. Even the woods and the streams are changed. Herbage 
and shrubs which once grew luxuriantly in our forests have been eaten 
out by cattle, until they can only be found in the most secluded and in- 
accessible places. Trees cut down are succeeded by others of a different 

The buffalo and elk, probably never numeroiis in this vicinity, had 
disappeared before the approach of the white man, but the bear, the deer, 
the wolf, the panther, the wildcat, the otter, the beaver, the porcupine, 
the wild turkey, the rattlesnake, racer, moccasin and copperhead of the 
fauna, which have now disappeared, remained in greater or less numbers 
for some years after the occupancy by the whites. The streams were in- 
fested with leeches. Swine were the chief means of the destruction of 
poisonous snakes. 

Wolves were so numerous and destructive to sheep that premiums 
were provided for killing them. Countless numbers of squirrels were to 
be found in the woods, and unceasing vigilance was required on the part 
of the settler to protect his corn-fields from their ravages. They some- 
times passed over the country in droves, traveling in the same direction. 
These animals were a nuisance, and were too common to be regarded as 
valuable for food. 

Other kinds of game wei-e abundant. For some years the red deer 
were as numerous as cattle to day. Wild turkeys could be shot or en- 
trapped in great numbers. When mast was abundant, a drove of more 
than 100 wild turkeys, all large and fat, might be found in the near 
vicinity of the settlements, and when mast was scarce large numbers 
would sometimes come to the barn-yards for grain. The rivers abounded 
with fish. 

The early immigrants may be described as a bold and resolute, rather 
than a cultivated people. It has been laid down as a general truth that 
a population made up of immigrants will contain the hardy and vigorous 


elements of character in a far greater proportion than the same number 
of persons born upon the soil and accustomed to tread in the footsteps of 
their fathers. It required enterprise and resolution to sever the ties which 
bound them to the place of their birth, and, upon their arrival in the 
new country, the stern face of nature and the necessities of their condi- 
tion made them bold and energetic. Individuality was fostered by the 
absence of old familiar customs, family alliances and the restraints of old 
social organizations. The early settlers were plain men and women of 
good sense, without the refinements which luxury brings and with great 
contempt for all shams and mere pretense. 

A majority of the early settlers belonged to the middle class. Few 
were, by affluence, placed above the necessity of labor with their hands, 
and few were so poor that they could not become the owners of small 
farms. The mass of the settlers were the owners in fee simple of at least' 
a quarter of a section of land, or 160 acres. Many possessed a half sec- 
tion or a section. After the settlements were begun, few persons owned 
land in large tracts of two or more thousand of acres; while the poorest 
immigrant, if industrious and thrifty, could lease land on such terms that 
he would soon become the owner of a small farm in five or six years. 

The backwoods age was not a golden age. However pleasing it may 
be to contemplate the industry and frugality, the hospitality and general 
sociability of the pioneer times, it would be improper to overlook the less 
pleasing features of the pictui-e. Hard toil made men old before their 
time. The means of culture and intellectual improvement were inferior. 
In the absence of the refinements of literature, music and the drama, men 
engaged in rude, coarse and sometimes brutal amusements. Public 
gatherings were often mari-ed by scenes of drunken disorder and fighting. 
The dockets of the courts show a large proportion of cases of assault and 
battery and afi'ray. While some of the settlers had books and studied 
them, the mass of the people had little time for study. Post roads and 
postoffices were few, and the scattered inhabitants rarely saw a news paper 
or read a letter from their former homes. Their knowledge of politics 
was obtained from the bitter discussions of opposing aspirants for office. 
The traveling preacher was their most cultivated teacher. The traveler 
from a foreign country or from one of the older States was compelled to 
admit that life in the backwoods was not favorable to amenity of manners. 
One of these travelers wrote of the Western people in 1802: "Their gen- 
erals distill whisky, their colonels keep taverns and their statesmen feed 



Organization of Dearborn County— The Older Counties of which it 
Formed a Part— Virginia Counties— Changes of Boundaries- 
First Officers and First Courts— Curious Court Incident— Early 
Administration of Justice— Division ok Dearborn and Formation 
OF Ohio County— First Officers and First Courts of Ohio County 
—Dearborn County Buildings— Ohio County Buildings. 

DEARBORN COUNTY was formed by proclamation of William Henry 
Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory, March 7, 1803, and was 
named in honor of Maj.-Gen. Henry Dearborn, at that time Secretary of 
War under President Jefferson. As originally formed, it embraced all 
the territory bounded by the Ohio State line on the east, the old Indian 
bouodary line on the west and north, and the Ohio River on the south, 
and included all of Ohio County, nearly all of Switzerland, and por- 
tions of several counties along the State line up to Fort Recovery. 

The reader who desires to know the full history of his county, will be 
interested in knowing the older counties, of which Dearborn and Ohio 
were a part. From 1790 until 1798 these two counties formed a part of 
Knox County, with the seat of justice at Vincennes. June 22, 1798, 
Gov. St. Clair issued a proclamation, changing the western boundary of 
Hamilton County from the Great Miami River to the Indian boundary 
line, running from the mouth of the Kentucky River to Fort Recovery; 
from that date these counties were a part of Hamilton County, with the 
seat of justice at Cincinnati until April 30, 1802, when Congress estab- 
lished the present western boundary line of Ohio. From April 30,1802, 
until January 24, 1803, they were under no county organization what- 
ever. From January 24, 1803, to March 7, 1803, a part of Clark County, 
with the seat of justice at Jeffersouville. 

But at still earlier dates, this territory had been made a part of polit- 
ical divisions called counties. During the Revolution, this region would 
have been marked on a map of the North American Colonies as a part of 
Virginia, whose extensive domain, making her the mother of States as 
well as of Presidents, reached to the Mississippi. Out of this broad ter- 
ritory vast counties were formed. The county of Kentucky included the 
whole of the present State of that name. In October, 1778, Virginia, by 


statute, declared that: "All the citizens of the commonwealth of Vir- 
ginia, who are already settled or who shall hereafter settle on the west- 
ern side of the Ohio, shall be included in a distinct county, which shall 
be called Illinois County." This territory, then, once formed a part of 
the vast western county of Virginia called Illinois. 

But, going back a few years further, we find this region included in 
a county of still more vast extent. South of the Natural Bridge, between 
the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies, and intersected by the James River, 
is a county of Virginia, with Fincastle as its seat of justice, named 
Botetourt, in honor of Norborne Rerkeley, Lord Botetourt, a conspic- 
uous actor in American colonial history, and governor of Vir- 
ginia. That county was established in 1769, and was bounded on 
the east by the Blue Ridge, on the west by the Mississippi, and com- 
prised Western Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin 
and Minnesota. Fincastle then, as now, was the county seat. 

The following curious provision is fou.nd in the act of Virginia, 
creating Botetourt County: 

And whereas, the people situated on the Mississippi, in the said county of 
Botetourt, will be very remote from the court liouse, and must necessarily become a 
separate county as soon as their numbers are sufficient — which probably will happen 
in a short time: Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid (House of Bur- 
gesses) that the inhabitants of that part of the said county of Botetourt, which lies 
on the said waters, shall be exempted from the payment of any levies to be laid by 
the said county court, for the purpose of building a court house and prison for said 

The boundary between Jefferson and Dearborn Counties, established 
by act of November 23, 1810, commenced on the Ohio River at the mouth 
of Log Lick, now in Switzerland County; thence to the old Indian 
boundary; and thence with said boundary to the northeast corner of the 
Grousland Purchase. 

A portion of the above territory was stricken from Jefferson and 
attached to Dearborn by act of September 7, 1814, viz.: All that portion 
of Jefferson County which lies east of the old Indian boundary and north 
of the line dividing Sections 19 and 30, Town 4, Range 3 west. Also 
from a point beginning where the line between Townships Nos. 6 and 7 
north. Range 13 east, intersects the old Indian boundary; thence with 
said line west to the corner of Sections 32 and 33, Town 7, Range 
12 east; thence north to the northwest corner of Section 21, Town 10,Range 
12; thence east on what is now the line between Franklin and Ripley 
Counties to the old Indian boundary line; thence southwardly with said 
line to the point of beginning. 

The above last described tract was taken from Dearborn to form a 
part of Ripley County by the act of December 27, 1816. 


In 1814 the line between Sections 19 and 30, Town 4, Range 3 west 
was extended east to the Ohio River and now forms the north boundary 
of Switzerland County. 

By aot of January 7, 1845, all that part of Dearborn County which 
lies south of Laughery Greek was attached to Ohio County, leaving Dear- 
born with its present boundary lines, viz. : Beginning at the confluence 
of Laughery Creek with the Ohio River; thence up said creek with its 
meanders to the old Indian boundary line; thence with said line north- 
wardly to the line dividing fractional townships Nos. 8 and 9; thence 
east to the first principal meridian, being the Ohio State line; thence 
south to the Ohio River; thence down said river to the place of beginning. 


On the same day that Dearborn County was organized,. Gov. William 
Henry Harrison appointed the following named persons justices, to hold 
the courts of common pleas, the^ courts of general quarter sessions of 
the peace, and the orphan's court under the ordinance and laws for the 
government of the Territory, viz. : Benjamin Chambers, Jabez Percival, 
Barnet Hulick, John Brownson, Jeremiah Hunt, Richard Stevens, Will- 
iam Major and James McCarty. Other civil officers appointed at the 
same time were Samuel C.Vance, clerk of courts, and James Dill, recorder. 
The commissions of all the officers dated from March 7, 1803. 

^ August 15, 1803, the following persons were appointed officers of 
the militia of Dearborn Cointy, viz.: William Hall, Samuel Fulton, 
Daniel Lynn, Barnet Hulick and Jeremiah Johnston, captains; William 
Standiford, William Spencer, William Cheek, James Hamilton and 
William AUensworth, lieutenants; Gersham Lee, Thomas Fulton, 
Michael Flake, William Thompson and Ja,m£is Buchanan, ensigns. 
August 23, 1808, David Lamphere was commissioned sheriff, James 
Hamilton, recorder, vice James Dill, resigned, and Jonathan White, 

Tl;ie first session of the court of general quarter sessions of the 
peace is believed to have commenced oq the first Monday of September, 
1803. In the proclamation of the governor establishing the county, the 
courts were directed to be held in the town of Lawrenceburgh, which had 
been laiJ out in the spring of 1802. Dr. Jabez Percival, one of the 
judges, had built a double log-cabin, and in it the first courts were held. 

A curious incident, illustrative of the primitive mode of administer- 
ing justice, is related on the highest authority as having occurred in an 
early court of this county. An altercation arising between an unman- 
ageable and contemptuous witness and one of the judges, the witness 
sustained his side of the argument by seizing a clapboard and striking at 


the judge. The judge fended off the lick which was aimed at his head 
with his arm. Both clapboard and the judge's arm were broken by the 
sudden and violent contact of the two. This was considered a contempt 
of court, and the witness was ordered to jail, but there was no jail, and 
as the most feasible means of carrying out the sentence of imprisonment, 
his feet and hands were tied, he was laid along the ground and a section 
of worm fence was built up over him, the lower rail just touching his 
neck. In this position he was kept for some hours, by which time it is 
fair to conclude he was possessed by a realizing sense of the inconven- 
ience attending a disrespectful treatment of the court. 


Hon. Oliver H. Smith, who practiced extensively in all the counties 
of southeastern Indiana, beginning in 1820, thus describes the adminis- 
tration of justice: 

" The county was new, sparsely settled, and being on the Western 
frontier, the towns and villages were filled with Indians trading their 
peltries, wild game and moccasins ornamented with the quills of the por- 
cupine, with the settlers, for calicoes, whisky, powder, lead, beads and 
such other articles as met their fancy. The population of the country 
embraced by the circuit was a hardy, fearless and generally honest but 
more or less reckless people, such as are usually to be found advancing 
upon the frontiers from more civilized life, and consequently there were 
more collisions among them, more crimes committed calling for the action 
of the criminal courts than is common in older settled and more civil - 
ized parts of the older States. 

"The judiciary system at the time referred to, was, like the country, 
in its infancy. The circuit court was composed of a presiding judge, 
elected by the Legistature, who presided in all the courts in the circuit, 
and two associate judges, elected in each county by the people. These 
'side judges,' as they were then called, made no pretensions to any par- 
ticular knowledge of the law, but still they had the power to overrule the 
presiding judge and give the opinion of the court, and sometimes they 
even 'outguessed' the president, giving the most preposterous reasons 
imaginable for their decisions, as, in one instance, that of a writ of 
sciy^e facias to revive a judgment, would not lie unless it was sued out 
within a year and a day. The decision oE the associates was affirmed in 
the supreme court, for other reasons, of course. The court houses were 
either frame or log buildings, arranged to hold the court in one end and 
the grand jury in the other, the petit jury being accommodated in some 
neighboring outbuildings. The clerks had very little qualification for 
their duties; still they were honest, and the most of them could write 


more legibly than Rufus Choate, United States Senator. The sheriffs 
were elected by the people as they are now, and seem to have been se- 
lected as candidates on account of their fine voices to call the jurors and 
witnesses from the woods from the doors of the court house, and their 
ability to run down and catch offenders. The most important personages 
in the country, however, were the young lawyers, universally called 
'squires' by the old and young, male and female. Queues were much in 
fashion, and nothing was more common than to see one of these young 
'squires' with a wilted rorum hat, that had once been stiffened with glue 
in its better days, upon his head, from the back part of which hung a 
cue three feet long, tied from head to tip with an eel skin, walking in 
evident superiority, in his own estimation, among the people in the court 
yard, sounding the public mind as to his prospects as a candidate for the 
Legislature. There were no caucuses or conventions then. Every can- 
didate brought himself out and ran upon his own hook. If he got beat, 
as the most of them did, he had nobody to blame but himself for becom- 
ing a candidate;, still, he generally charged it upon his friends for not 
voting for him, and the next season found him once more upon the track, 
sounding his own praises. 

" The court rooms in those days were prepared and furnished with 
much simplicity, and yet they seemed to answer all the purposes abso- 
lutely necessary to the due administration of justice. The building gen- 
erally contained two rooms, the court room being the larger, at one end 
of which there was a platform elevated some three feet for the judges, 
with a long bench to seat them. These benches were very substantial in 
general, sufficient to sustain the most weighty judges, yet on one occa- 
sion the bench gave way, and down came three fat, aldermanly judges on 
the floor. One of them, qaite a wag, seeing the 'squires' laughing, re- 
marked: 'Gentlemen, this is a mighty weak bench.' The bar had their 
benches near the table of the clerk, and the crowd was kept back by a 
long pole fastened with withes at the ends. The crowds at that day 
thought the holding of a court a great affair; the people came hundreds 
of miles to see the judges and hear the lawyers 'plead,' as they called it. 
On one occasion there came on to be tried before the jury an indictment for 
an assault and battery against a man for pulling the nose of another who 
had insulted him. The court room was filled to suffocation, the two as- 
sociate judges were on the bench; the evidence had been heard and pub- 
lic expectation was on tiptoe. All was silent as death, when the young 
'squire,' afterward Judge Charles H. Test, arose and addressed the court: 
'If the court please — . ' He was here interrupted by Judge Mitchell from 
the bench, 'Yes, we do please. Go to the bottom of the case, young 
man; the people have come in to hear the lawyers plead.' The young 


Squire, encouraged by the kind response of the judge, proceeded to ad- 
dress the jury some three hours, in excited eloquence, upon the great 
provocation his client had received to induce his docile nature to bound 
over all legal barriers and take the prosecutor by the nose. All eyes were 
upon him, and as he closed Judge Winchall roared out, 'Capital! I did 
not think it was in him!' The jury returned a verdict of 'not guilty' 
amid the rapturous applause of the audience. Court adjourned, and 
the people returned home to tell their children that they had heard the 
lawyers 'plead.' " 


The question of the division of Dearborn County was agitated from 
an early period.' Eising Sun, laid out in 1814, was ambitious to be a 
county seat from the first, and worked faithfully and earnestly with that 
end in view, until success crowned its efforts. As early as 1817, before 
the State of Indiana was a year old, Col. A. C. Pepper, it is said, went 
to Corydon, the capital of the State, to obtain an act from the Legislature 
organizing a new county with Rising Sun its seat of justice, but he was 

Lawrenceburgh was the seat of justice of Dearborn County from the 
organization of the county, and being situated on the eastern side of the 
county about midway between the northern and southern boundaries, was 
unwilling to have the shape of the county changed, lest the county seat 
should be removed. The friends of a new county, finding they were not 
strong enough to effect a division of Dearborn, resorted to strategy and 
advocated a removal of the county seat to a point nearer the geographical 
center, and September 26, 1836, Wilmington became the seat of justice. 
Lawrenceburgh having lost the county seat was now not so much opposed 
to the formation of a new county, provided the county seat could be 
brought back to her. 

An alliance was formed between the friends of division and the relo- 
cation of the county seat, and in 1843 members of the Legislature were 
chosen from the county favorable to both these projects. As an indica- 
tion of the unanimity of sentiment on the part of the voters of Randolph 
Township it may be stated that George P. Buell, the candidate for senator 
in favor of division and relocation, received in that township 501 votes, 
while Charles Dashiell, the candidate opposed to these measures, received 
five votes. 

The act organizing Ohio County and removing the seat of justice of 
Dearborn County from Wilmington to Lawrenceburgh pasi^ed the House 
by a vote of sixty-six to twenty-three, December 31, 1843; it passed the 
Senate, January 3, 1844, and was approved by the governor January 4, 


1844. The act is a long one, but on aceount of its importance we give 
its most important sections: 


Section 1. Be it enacted by the Qeneral Assembly of the State of Indiana, 
That from and after the first day of March next, all that part of Dearborn County, 
within the following bounds, to-wit: Beginning on the Ohio River on the section 
line between fractional sections number twenty-five and thirty-six, in Town four. 
Range one west, thence west with said line to the northwest corner of section num- 
ber thirty-two; thence south to the northwest corner of Section number five, Town 
three, Range one; thence west to the range line between Range one and Range 
two; thence south to the line dividing Switzerland and Dearborn Counties; thence 
with said line east to the Ohio River; thence up said river to the place of begin- 
ning, shall constitute the county of Ohio. 

Sec. 2. That Martin R. Green, of the county of Switzerland, Joseph Bennet, 
of the county of Franklin, and James Myers, of the county of Ripley, be and 
they are hereby constituted and appointed commissioners to permanently locate the 
seat of justice of said county. The commissioners, or a majority of them, shall 
convene in the town of Rising Sun, in said county of Ohio, on the second Monday 
in April next, or as soon thereafter as a majority of them shall agree. 

Sec. 5. That the circuit and other courts of said county of Ohio shall be 
held at Rising Sun until suitable buildings can be erected at the county seat, after 
which the courts shall be held at the county seat of said county. 

Sec. 13. That from and after the first day of April next the seat of justice of 
the county of Dearborn shall be, and the same is, hereby removed and permanently 
located in the town of Lawrenceburgh, in said county of Dearborn. 

Sec. 15. That all officers whose duty it shall be to keep their said offices at the 
seat of justice in said county of Dearborn shall be, and are hereby required to 
remove and keep their said offices at the town of Lawrenceburgh on or before the 
said first day of April next; that from and after the said first day of April (1844) all 
public business, which shall be required by law to be transacted at the seat of jus- 
tice in said county of Dearborn, shall be performed and transacted at the court 
house in said town of Lawrenceburgh. 

Sec. 16. It shall be the duty of the corporation of the said town of Lawrence- 
burgh to give bond with good and sufficient security, to be approved of by the 
county commissioners of said county, or any one of them, in a penalty of any 
amount lie or they may require, not exceeding, however, the penalty of ten thou- 
sand dollars, payable to the State of Indiana, conditioned that the corporation of 
said town of Lawrenceburgh shall, within one year from and after the said first day 
of April, 1844, fit up and repair the court house and jail in said town of Lawrence- 
burgh, and build a clerk's office, recorder's office, and auditor's office in said town, 
all of which shall be equal in point of convenience and durability to those already 
erected and built in the town of Wilmington; and that said corporation will furnish 
suitable rooms for holding said offices in said county at the expense of the same, 
until said public buildings shall be erected and refitted as aforesaid. 

Sec. 17. This act to take effect and be in force from and after its passage. 

An examination of the first section of the foregoing act will show 
that the original boundaries of the county were not the same as at pres- 
ent. Ohio County is now the smallest county in Indiana, containing a 


little over eighty-five acd one-half square miles. As originally formed 
it comprised only a portion of Eandolph Township, and contained less 
than eighteen square miles. Probably a smaller county was never 
formed in the United States. It remained thus, however, only for one 
year and three days. January 7, 1845, by act of the Legislature, all 
of Dearborn County lying south of Laughery Creek was attached to Ohio 
County, leaving both Dearborn and Ohio Counties with their present 

The old constitution of Indiana provided that " the General Assem- 
bly, when they lay off any new county, shall not reduce the old county or 
counties from which the same shall be taken to a less extent than 400 
square miles." It was thought that Dearborn had been reduced to 400 
square miles of territory, and that this would effectually bar any divis- 
ion of the county, but a close survey made at a time of low water in 
the Ohio showed a surplus. Out of that surplus Ohio County was first 
formed. It was out of the power of the Legislature in the act creating 
the new county to have made it any larger. As the constitution did not 
forbid the changing of the boundaries of counties already established, at 
the next session Laughery Creek was made the boundary between Ohio 
and Dearborn. 

Thus after a long and hard fought contest, Rising Sun became a seat 
of justice. The people of that village built the county buildings free of 
expense to the county. They obligated themselves that if Rising Sun 
was made the seat of justice of the proposed new county, the cost of 
erecting the public buildings should not fall upon the tax payers of the 
county. The commissioners appointed to locate the seat of justice met 
at Rising Sun on Monday, April 8, 1844, and selected the site upon which 
the public buildings now stand, the ground having been donated for that 
purpose by Col. A. C. Pepper. The occasion was one of public rejoic- 
ing, and a dinner was given to the commissioners at which a number of 
citizens were present. 

The first election of county offices in Ohio County was held May 1, 
1844, when the following named persons were chosen: Probate judge, 
Samuel Jelly; associate judges, Samuel Fulton and Thomas H. Gilmore; 
county clerk, James H. Pepper; recorder, William T. Lambdin; treas- 
urer, John B. Craft; auditor, Samuel F. Covington; commissioners, John 
Bennett, William H. Powell and Morris Merrill; coroner, Alexander C. 
Campbell. As the constitution provided for the election of coroner at 
the regular election held in August and at no other time, Mr. Campbell 
was not legally elected, nor was ho commissioned. Another special elec- 
tion was ordered to be held June 1, for the purpose of choosing an 
assessor and school commissioner, on which day Martin Stewart was 


elected assessor, and Nathan R. Steadman, school commissioner. William 
Lanius had been commissioned sheriff by the governor for the purpose 
of organizing the county, but in his absence Ohio County was organized 
by his deputy, Samuel F. Covington. At the annual election, vv^hich took 
place on the first Monday of August, the following officers were chosen: 
Sheriff, James B. Smith; coroner, Theophilus Jones. The board of 
commissioners at their first session made the following appointments: 
County surveyor, Henry James; inspector of elections, Charles W. 

The first court held in Ohio County was the probate court, which 
commenced its sitting in the then Old School Presbyterian Church on 
Second Street, Monday, August 12, 1844. Samuel Jelley was probate 
judge, and James H. Pepper, clerk. 

On the same day a special session of the commissioners was held in the 
county clerk's office, in a building then standing on the east corner of 
Main Street and the alley between First and Market Streets. 

The first term of the circuit court was held in the church already 
mentioned on Second Street, beginning on Monday, December 4, 1844, 
and continuing two days. Miles C. Eggleston was president judge, and 
Samuel Fulton and Thomas H. Gilmore, associate judges; John Dumont, 
prosecuting attorney; James H. Pepper, clerk, and James B. Smith, 


First Jail. — The first jail of the county, erected in 1804, was built 
of logs, and was located on the public square. In 1806 William Cook 
was the jailor, and resided in the jail building. 

First Court House. — The first court house stood on the site of the 
present temple of justice, and was built in 1810. It was a two-story 
brick building, the court room being on the ground floor, with jury room 
above. This building was destroyed by fire, March 5, 1826. 

Second Court House. — The interior only of the first court house hav- 
ing been consumed by fire, the second building, for the use of the courts, 
was constructed on the same foundation and with the same walls. In 
May, 1827, the county commissioners appointed Jesse Hunt, James W. 
Hunter and George H. Dunn commissioners to superintend the construc- 
tion of the building, which it appears was not ready for occupancy until 
the fall or winter of 1828. 

Second Jail. — The second county prison must have been built at the 
same time that the second court house was constructed, although there is 
no separate mention made of it in the commissioners' proceedings. The 
men named above as commissioners appointed to superintend the erec- 
tion of the second court house were to superintend the erection of two 


public buildings. No description of the building is given or mention 
made of its builders in the records that we were able to find. In the 
State Gazetteer of 1833 it is referred to as a stone jail. It was two 
stories high, and occupied a position nearly on the site of the present 

Third Court House. — On the removal of the county seat from Law- 
renceburgh to Wilmington, in 1835, the public buildings — a court house 
and jail — were erected in that village by the citizens thereof and vicinity 
at a cost of about $4,000. The court house, still standing, is a two-story 
brick, in size about 42x48 feet, and is the property of the lodge of 
Masons of that village. 

Third Jail. — The third jail, as stated above, was erected at Wilming- 
ton. It was a substantial building, and stood upon the public square; 
both it and court house were donations, and were accepted by the 
county commissioners, March 9, 1836. The jail was occupied only a 
few years when it was destroyed by fire. 

Fourth Jail.— In March, 1840, a contract was let, for the erection of 
the second jail at Wilmington, by the county commissioners to Timothy 
Kimball for $1,700. At the final settlement made with Mr. Kimball, 
he was allowed $1,939.77. 

Fifth Jail. — The fifth county prison was erected on the public square 
at Lawrenceburgh in 1848, the contract having been let to Timothy 
Kimball in December, 1847, for $2,600. In August, 1848, the build- 
ing was received and accepted by the commissioners, at which time they 
allowed Mr. Kimball $210 extra " for the building of a wall above the 
high water mark of 1832." 

Sixth Jail and Sheriff's Residence. — The sixth and present jail was 
built in 1858-59. The sheriff's residence — a two-story brick building — 
fronts on High Street, with jail to the rear, and stands in the south cor- 
ner of the public square. The work was let by departments to various 
persons, and cost in round number.s $8,600. 

Fourth Qdurt House. — The order for the erection of the present 
magnificent/court house of Dearborn County was passed by the board of 
county commissioners, March 16, 1870, and George Kyle, of Vevay, in 
Switzerland County, Ind. , was selected as architect, April 13, 1870, to 
prepare plans and specifications, and June 15, 1870, the plans were sub- 
mitted by the architect and adopted by the board. An order was passed 
for the removal of the old building, and the work of demolition 
commenced June 16, 1870, the board having accepted the proposition of 
the commou council of the city of Lawrenceburgh, tendering the use of 
Odd Fellows' Hall free of charge for the use of a court house during the 
erection of the new building, the same was designated as the place of 
holding courts. 


Proposals for the erection of this building were advertised to be 
received until July 15, and July 16, 1870, the contract was awarded 
for the cut stonewoi'k to Francis L. Farman, of Indianapolis, and the 
remainder of the work to T. J. Shannon, of Lawrenceburgh, and July 
17, the work of excavation was commenced. 

The stone used in the construction of the building was quarried at 
Elliottsville, Monroe Co., Ind. , and is a pearl-gray limestone of fine 
grain, giving forth a distiact, ringing, metallic sound, when struck by 
by another hard substance. The style of architecture is the Corinthian — 
having a portico in front of the Corinthian order; the flank and rear are 
also embeliahed by projections and pediments upon which the same order 
is developed. 

The dimensions are seventy-three feet three inches fronting on High 
Street, and running back one hundred and one feet three inches, exclusive 
of projections. The portico is thirteen feet three inches by forty-six feet 
eight inches. The perpendicular height from the base line to the 
comb of the roof is sixty-seven feet. The building was completed at a 
cost of about $100,000 and stands to-day one of the finest court houses 
in Indiana. 

The corner-stone of the present court house in Lawrenceburgh was 
laid with imposing ceremonies April, 13, 1871 in the presence of fully 
5,000 spectators. The various orders of Masons, Odd Fellows, Druids, 
Good Templars and other benevolent and religious societies of the county 
were fully represented. Louis Jordan, Esq., of Indianapolis, was the 
orator of the occasion. The following is a list of the articles deposited 
in the corner-stone: 

Histories of Masonic Lodges — Wilmington Lodge No. 158; Law- 
renceburgh Chapter; Lawrenceburgh Lodge; Burns Lodge No. 55; Har- 
rison Lodge No. 17; Aurora Lodge No. 51; Hansellman Commandeiy, 
of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Histories of Odd Fellows — Advance Lodge; Allemania Lodge No. 
334, of Aurora; Teutonia Lodge No. 289, of Lawrenceburgh; Bethlehem 
Encampment No. 3, of Aurora; Union Lodge No. 8, of Lawrenceburgh; 
Chosen Friends Lodge No. 13, of Aurora. 

Histories of Druids — Aurora Grove; Grand Grove of Indiana; Grand 
Grove of the United States; Columbia and Teutonia Chapters No. 2, of 
Lawrenceburgh; Order of Harugari No. 223, of Lawrenceburgh. 

Histories of Keligious Societies — American Protestant Association, of 
Lawrenceburgh; St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Aid Society, of Lawrence- 
burgh; Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceburgh; Lawrenceburgh Baptist 
Church of Christ; German Evangelical Zion's Church, of Walnut 
Street, Lawrenceburgh; Aid Society to Indigent Sick of G. E. Z. 
Church, of Lawrenceburgh. 7 


Histories of Corporations, Associations, etc. — Deutschen Bau Verein, 
No. 1, of Lawrenceburgh; Lawrenceburgb Liedertafel; City of Aurora; 
City of Lawrenceburgb; Dearborn County Agricultural Society; Dear- 
born County; First National Bank, of Lawrenceburgb; Cocbran Forum; 
Dearborn County Medical Society. 

Publications — Democratic Register, six copies, including dates 
of April 7 and 14, 1871; Lawrenceburgb Press, April 13, 1871; 
Dearborn Independent, April 13, 1871; Rising Sun Recorder, April 8, 
1871; Political Beacon, October 7, 1837; Cbillicothe Advertiser, 1850; 
Dearborn Democrat, 1838, and otber old papers relating to Dearborn 
County, contributed by Dr. George Sutton, of Aurora; Milliner's Pam- 
phlet of Fashion Plates, for April, 1871, deposited by Mrs. Margaret 
Beggs, of Lawrenceburgb. 

Miscellaneous — Samples of United States Postage Stamps in use 
in 1871; 25 cent note of Petersburgb, Ky., Milling Company, 1817; 
$1 note of second municipality of New Orleans, 1839; One one- 
ninth of $1 continental currency, issued by the colony of Maryland, 
1775; 1 cent coin, 1786; 1 cent coin, 1777; L C. & L. R. R. switch 
key, deposited by Peter Martenstein; photograph of commission 
of Azel Fitch, as captain in Colonial Army, dated March 24, 1760, 
issued by Thomas Fitch, captain general and governor of the colony of 
Connecticut, deposited by D. W. C. Fitch; samples of copper and silver 
coins of United States, 1871 ; biographical sketch of the late J. H. 
Brower, M. D. 

The Asylum for the Poor. — About twelve miles northwest of Law- 
renceburgb is located the County Infirmary. The building is in crucial 
form, 104 feet in width and 150 feet in length, and two-stories high, 
having sixty-four rooms. The building is neat and substantial, well 
arranged for the convenience of the inmates, is heated by steam, 
and makes a pleasant home for the unfortunate of the county. Its 
kitchen and dining room arrangements, together with the offices and 
airy sitting rooms, give it a home like appearance and it may be truly 
said that the county has secured a valuable home for those depending for 
their support upon the county. The building was completed in the fall 
of 1882, costing $21,754. The original contract price was $15,840, to 
which was added $500 for extras. In 1881 the farm comprised about 
300 acres of land, the proceeds of which for the year 1880 amounted to 
about $2,000. The architect of the building was Capt. Alex Pattison, 
and the contractor and builder was Seth Piatt, both of Dearborn County. 
At the time of the completion of the building, the asylum and farm 
were under the management of Thomas Duncan, who had had charge 
of it for several years. The inmates then numbered forty. 


The asylum was first established in 1835, in July of which year the 
contract was let to William Brown for the carpenter work for $920. 
The stone and mason work was to cost $650. 

About fifty acres of ground had been purchased in the spring of 1833 
of Phoebe Pate, lying in Section 10, Township 5, Range 2, for the pur- 
pose of erecting an asylum. The amount paid for it was $220. That 
farm was sold in 1883, for $2,600 and the present farm purchased in the 
spring of the same year of C. F. Wood for $3,840. 


The court house square on which the temple of justice and jail of 
Ohio County are located is situated well up in the city from the river, 
and is bounded by Mulberry Street, Broad Street, Main Street and an 
alley. The ground was donated to the county by Col. Abel C. Pepper, 
the deed of conveyance being made by Col. Pepper and wife to the 
county commissioners, with the provision that should the town of Rising 
Sun cease to be a county seat, the lot should become the property of the 
president and trustees of Rising Sun. This deed of conveyance bears 
date of December 11, 1845. 

The Court House. — This, a substantial two-story brick building, 
stands on the center part of the square facing Main Street, amid a 
grove of beautiful shade trees; the building is fifty feet deep, with a 
portico of twelve feet in front supported by large round pillars, 
making in all 60x40 feet wide. The first story is arranged for ofiices 
and jury rooms, and is nine feet high; the court room is on the second 
floor. The building stands on the highest ground in the corporation, 
and was erected in 1845. * 

F'irst Jail. — The first county prison was a wood structure of one 
apartment located on the square above described, and was received and 
accepted by the county commissioners, and the key given to the sherifif 
on the 24th of November, 1846. 

Second Jail. — This consisted of an addition of one apartment (con- 
structed of wood, 12x16 feet in size), to the old jail, the two wooden 
apartments being enclosed by a brick wall twelve inches thick. In Septem- 
ber, 1848, the board of county commissioners accepted the proposition of 
George G. Brown and Washington H. Hall to build this jail for $900, 
to be completed on or before June 1, 1849. After twenty years' service 
this prison passed into history with this comment from the grand Jury 
made in August, 1869: "Is utterly insuflficient for the safe keeping of pris- 
oners, and is deficient in every requisite ordinarily deemed to be 
required for the health and comfort of human beings. As to the manner 
in which the same has been kept they believe that the jailer has per- 


formed his duties in that regard as well as circumstances would permit. 
They would suggest that the jail building might possibly be used for 
stabling purposes, but all of the jury being farmers and having a kindly 
feeling for animals of the horse kind, would not recommend that it be 
put to that use. " 

Third Jail and Sheriff^s Residence. — The two-story substantial brick 
residence of the sheriif, and jail, is located in the western corner of the 
court house square, facing Mulberry Street, and was erected in 1870 at 
a cost in round numbers of $5,000; the contract being let by the 
county commissioners at a special session held in February, 1870, to 
John M. Reister and to Charles Williams and Oliver English. 

The Asylum for the Poor. — In 1853 steps were taken by the county 
commissioners for the establishment in the county of an asylum for the 
poor, and September 9 of that year they bought of F. L. and S. C. Gas- 
kill fifty acres of land in Section 31, Township 4, Range 1, for which 
they paid $1,700; the deed of conveyance, however, was not made until 
March 8, 1854. Suitable buildings were soon erected, and in March, 
1854, John Wallace was appointed the first superintendent of the insti- 
tution at a salary of |200 for the year. In September, 1881, two tracts 
of land were added to the farm, one of nineteen acres oflf of the O'Neal 
place, and the other of thirty- three acres off of the S. H. Stewart place, 
for which were paid $570 and $990 respectively. Among the superin- 
tendents have been Stephen Booth, G. W. Sink, Lewis Lotton, William 
Buchanan, Ed E. Lyon, Erastus Downey, N. Leggitt. The latter died 
in the summer of 1882, while in office, and his unexpired time was 
served out by Jacob Cooper, who that fall was appointed for a term of 
five years. Mr. Cooper has managed the institution to the entire satis- 
faction of the inmates and the county in general. 




First Roads— Road from Vincennesto Cincinnati— Stage Coaches- 
Turnpikes— The Whitewater Valley Canal— Railroads— Ohio 
River Navigation — Flat-boats— Keel-boats— First Steamboats. 

THE first roads were mere traces or paths for horses. After. the first 
public highways were established they remained for years little 
more than mere tracks through the woods cleared of timber, without 
bridges, and, in the fresh conditioo of the ^soil, almost impassable in 
the wet season. Wagoning, however, was an important business before 
the construction of cauals and railroads. 

The first effort to establish a permanent road through either Dearborn 
or Ohio Counties, of which we have any account, was in 1799, when 
Capt. Ephraim Kibbey, then of Cincinnati, surveyed the route for a road 
from Vincennes to Cincinnati. The route is not given, but it is stated 
that he found the distance from Vincennes to the Great Miami to be 155 
miles and forty-eight poles. The Western Spy, published in Cincinnati, 
July 23, 1799, contained the following: "Capt. E. Kibbey, who, some time 
since, undertook to cut a road from Fort Vincennes to this place, returned 
on Monday reduced to a perfect skeleton. He had cut the road seventy 
miles, when, by some means, he. was separated from his men. After 
hunting them some days without success, he steered his course this way. 
He has undergone great hardships, and was obliged to subsist on roots, 
etc., which he picked up in the woods." 

About 1820 the road from Cincinnati to Vincennes was described in 
almanacs of that date as follows: "From Cincinnati to Vincennes — 
Burlington, 15 milesj Rising Sun, 10; Judge Cotton's, 20; Madison, 20; 
New Lexington, 17; Salem, 32; French Lick, 34; East Fork White 
River (Shoat's), 17; North Fork White River (Hawkins') 20; Vincennes, 
16; total, 201 miles." 

As early as 1820 commissioners were appointed to lay out "State 
roads." An important State road was laid out from Lawrenceburgh 
through Brookville, by way of Southgate and Tanner's Creek, Conners- 
ville, Waterloo, Ceutreville and Winchester. It was long familiarly 
known as the Connersville State road. 


^ Stage coaches began to be important means of carrying passengers 
anci mails over the principal thoroughfares of Indiana between 1825 and 
1830. In 1831 a post-coach was run between Cincinnati and Lawrence- 
burgh, via Elizabethtown and Cleves. Leaving Lawrenceburgh Mon- 
days, Wednesdays and Fridays, at 6 A. M., it arrived at Cincinnati at 
12 noon; and leaving Cincinnati on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 
at 6 A. M., it arrived at Lawenceburgh at noon. The coach connected 
at Lawrenceburgh with the Indianapolis stage on Tuesdays. The pro- 
prietor informed the public that he had purchased a new and elegant 
four-horse coach, of sufficient capacity to accommodate eight passengers, 
and that he intended to superintend the driving in person. In 1838 the 
stage route from Indianapolis to Cincinnati, via Lawrenceburgh and 
Napoleon, was through New Bethel, Wrightsdale, Brandywine, Shelby- 
ville, Middletown, St. Omer, Greensburg, Napoleon, Laughery, Man- 
chester, Lawrenceburgh, Elizabethtown and Cheviot. 

At the close of the year 1835, there were only two macadamized 
roads leading into Cincinnati, one of which was twelve, and the other 
sixteen miles long. Several years elapsed before there were any turn- 
pikes in Dearborn County. In 1840, an editorial article in the Beacon, 
published at Lawrenceburgh, urged the necessity of improving the roads 
of Dearborn County, which then included Ohio County. "Nothing," 
wrote the editor, "will aid so much in bringing capital and business to 
the place as good roads, and in this particular our county is lamentably 
deficient. It is idle to wait for the State or the county to do anything; 
this township should take the lead. Nearly one-third of the whole 
wealth of the county is in this township, and there are not more than 
twenty or twenty-five miles of leading roads in it. That it would take 
but a short time to turnpike the whole of them, by a judicious and equi- 
table system, must be evident, and such an example would unquestiona- 
bly be followed by the other large townships, and most of the leading 
roads would be made good." 

Aurora, in its early history, labored under great disadvantages, on 
account of the expense and difficulty of crossing the different streams 
emptying into the Ohio above and below that place. Wilmington mo- 
nopolized most of the business in that region. There was little trade 
brought to Aurora by the river road. In 1836, George W. Lane built a 
bridge across the mouth of Hogan Creek, which opened the way of com- 
munication through Aurora to Lawrenceburgh. The road up the valley 
of South Hogan Creek was relocated, and a bridge was built across 
South Hogan Creek, on the road from Aurora to AVilmington. The next 
important step for the benefit of Aurora was the relocating the road from 
Aurora to Manchester, to go up the hill where there was an easy grade 


obtained, instead of following the ridge to a point just above Cheek's 

The constant use of these dirt roads, as business began to increase at 
Aurora, made them almost impassable during the winter and spring of 
the year, which made it necessary that the main roads to Aurora should 
be made turnpikes. At the session of the Legislature in 1847, Mr. Lane 
being a member, a charter was obtained authorizing a company to build 
a turnpike road from Aurora to Dillsborough, and Hart' a Mill in Ripley 
County. Also a charter for the building of a turnpike from Aurora to 
Moore's Hill by way of Wilmington. These roads were soon after con- 
structed, and added greatly to the commercial trade of Aurora. 

About this time a law was passed authorizing the trustees of Canton 
Township to improve the roads in that township, and they graded and 
macadamized the road up the hill toward Manchester, and the road down 
the river to the mouth of Laughery Creek. 

The third improvement was made by the township (Center) in chang- 
ing the road to Lawrenceburgh, and in conjunction with Lawrenceburgh 
Township building the macadamized road now in use. 

The next important turnpike constructed was from Lawrenceburgh to 
Manchester. The company for the construction of this road was char- 
tered February 18, 1840, and known as the Lawrenceburgh & Napo- 
leon Turnpike Company, but the road was never built to Napoleon. The 
company was organized in February, 1841, and books for the subscrip- 
tion of stock were opened the following month. 

The townships of Lawrencebm-gh and Miller projected and built the 
turnpike from Lawrenceburgh to the State line near Elizabethtown. 

The Aurora & Johnston's Mill Turnpike, eight miles in length, was 
built by a stock company. 

About the year 1850 the system of township roads was attracting 
much attention. Four miles of the Tanner's Creek Turnpike were 
announced as completed in May, 1851. 

There was much improvement made in the roads in three years from 
1867 to 1870. 

April 1, 1869, it was announced that subscription books were opened 
and canvassing commenced for the construction of the Rising Sun & 
Laughery Turnpike; the amount of stock solicited was $20,000, in shares 
of $25. 

In June, 1868, the directors of the Rising Sun & Milton Turnpike 
Company contracted for the construction of the road at a cost of 
$1,375.89 per mile. Four miles were completed in the fall of the same 

May 28, 1870, the contract for the construction of the North Landing 


& Quercus Grove Turnpike, was let at an average rate of $3,100 per 

The Kising Sun & North Landing Turnpike Company was organ- 
ized in September, 1870. 

June 4, 1878, the wood and iron bridge across Laughery Creek on 
the road from Aurora to Rising Sun fell into the creek. It had been 
built in 1869. A new bridge at this place was completed in the autumn 
of 1879, at a cost of $17,458, Ohio County paying the sum of $2,931. 


One of the early demands of the people of a new country is for means 
of intercommunication. So soon as the Western country began to be set- 
tled there began the cry for national aid in opening up all sorts of aven- 
ues for ingress and egress to and from the frontier lands. New York, 
Pennsylvania and Ohio had given great attention to the subject of canals, 
and Indiana early in its history turned its attention to the same subject. 

The project of a canal thi-ough the Whitewater Valley was agitated 
as early as 1822 or 1823, by Alvin Joselyn, then connected with the 
Brookville press; subsequently there was held at Harrison, Ohio, a con- 
vention of delegates from Franklin, Wayne, Union, Randolph, Fayette 
and Dearborn Counties. A survey was soon made under the supervision 
of Col. Shriver's Brigade of United States Engineers. Col. Shriver 
died before the survey was completed, and after his death the work was 
continued by Col. Stansbury, who began at the mouth of Garrison's 
Creek, but discontinued his labor on the approach of winter. 

Nothing further seems to have been done until 1834, when from the 
Connersville Watchman it appears that "a corps of engineers are survey- 
ing the route of the contemplated canal down the valley of the White- 
water." / 

In January, 1836, was passed by the General Assembly of Indiana the 
celebrated act to provide for a general system of internal improvements 
under which were commenced the Wabash and Erie Canal, the Madison 
& Indianapolis Railroad, Indiana Central Canal and the Whitewater 
Valley Canal. The last named work was to extend from Hagerstown to 
Lawrenceburgh. The State of Ohio, or a company chartered by the State? 
afterward constructed a branch from Harrison, Ohio, to Cincinnati. 

The survey and location of the Whitewater Valley Canal were com- 
pleted and the contracts for building the various sections were let at 
Brookville, September 13,1836, which event was there the occasion of a 
celebration, and that day made a general gala day. The orator on the 
occasion was Hon. David Wallace. Gov. Noble, ex-Gov. James B. Ray, 
Dr. Drake, of Cincinnati, and George H. Dunn, Esq., of Lawrenceburgh, 


were chosen as representative characters to perform the ceremony of 
"breaking ground" for the new canal. 

Under the auspices of the State, the canal was completed from the 
Ohio River to Brookville, as well as about half the work from Brook- 
ville to Cambridge City. The cost of work to Brookville was $664,665. 
At this time (1839) the State found itself in debt some $14,000,000, and 
was compelled to abandon all public works. 

The first boat to reach Brookville was the "Ben Franklin." This was 
Saturday, June 8, 1839. The citizens gave vent to their joy by the 
firing of cannon and other demonstrations. 

At the session of 1841-42 the Legislature chartered the Whitewater 
Valley Company with a capital stock of $400,000. In October, 1843, 
the canal was extended from Brookville fifteen miles to Laurel; to Con- 
nersville, twelve miles further, in June, 1845; and in October, the 
same year, it was completed to Cambridge City, the entire cost to the 
company being $473,000. 

The first boat that arrived at Connersville was in the fall of 1845. 
It was called the "Patriot," and was commanded by Capt. Gayle Ford. 

On the 1st of January, 1847, a tremendous freshet damaged the 
canal so badly that it cost upward of $100,000 to repair it; by the flood 
was carried off the aqueduct across Symon's Creek, near Cambridge, and 
that across the West Fork of Whitewater, at Laurel, besides washing 
immense channels around the feeder dams at Cambridge, Connersville, 
Laurel, Brookville, the one four miles below, and that at Harrison, and 
also doing much damage along the whole line. A second flood in No- 
vember, 1848, only a few weeks after repairs had been completed, dam- 
aged it to the amount of $80,000. It was, however, again repaired and 
operated, to some extent, for several years, until superseded by rail- 
roads, one the Whitewater Valley Eailroad, constructed along the tow- 
path, and part of the way in the bed of the canal, which had been pre- 
viously placed in the hands of a receiver, and the right-of-way trans- 
ferred to the railroad company for that purpose. 

The canal constructed by the company extended north only to Cam- 
bridge City. (The length of the canal from Lawrenceburgh to Cam- 
bridge City was seventy miles.) Subsequently, in or about the year 
1846, the Hagerstown Canal Company was organized and the canal com- 
pleted to that place in 1847. But a small number of boats, however, 
ever reached that place, and the canal soon fell into disuse, except as a 
source of water-power. 


As early as 1834-35, when steam- car ti-ansportation was in its in- 
fancy and before a single mile of railroad had been constructed in Indi- 


ana, George H. Dunn was the advocate of a railroad from Lawrence- 
burgh to Indianapolis. The project then failed. In 1847, the Legisla- 
ture chartered a company of which Judge Dunn was the first president, 
authorized to construct a railroad from Lawrenceburgh to Rushville, 
but the president failed to meet with the encouragement he had hoped 
for in Rush County. He then turned his attention to the northwest. 
Finally the friends of a railroad'settled down upon the old project of a 
road from Lawrenceburgh to Indianapolis. The contract for the con- 
struction of the first division of this road — twenty miles up the Tanner 
Creek valley — was let in July or August, 1849; the second division 
reaching to Greensburgh a few months later, and the third division, 
from Greensburgh to Indianapolis, in 1851. In September, 1853, the 
whole line, except five miles between Greensburgh and Shelbyville, was 
reported completed, and the cars running regularly thereon. 

The history of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad involves legislation of 
three States — Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. The first act of incorporation 
of this road was granted by Indiana, February 14, 1848, incorporating 
the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad Company and authorizing the construc- 
tion of a railroad on the most practicable route "between Lawrenceburgh 
on the Ohio River, and Vincennes on the Wabash River, and extending 
eastwardly to the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, and westwardly through the 
State of Illinois to the city of St. Louis, in the State of Missouri." 
March 15, 1849, the State of Ohio recognized the corporate powers 
granted by Indiana, and authorized the extension of the road to Cincin- 
nati. February 12, 1851, the State of Illinois authorized the com- 
pany to construct a railroad through that State. In 1854 there were 
completed twenty-nine miles of the road; in 1855, 233 miles; and in 
1857 the whole line of 337 miles of six feet guage was open for traffic. 

The articles of association of the Whitewater Valley Railroad Company 
were filed with the Secretary of State, June 8, 1865. In 1866 there were 
constructed eighteen miles of the road; in 1867, fifty-four miles; and in 
1868 the entire line of sixty-two miles was completed. 

In Dearborn County there are forty-nine miles of main track of rail 
road divided among three companies as follows: Cincinnati, Indianapolis, 
St. Louis & Chicago (including the Lawrenceburgh branch of two and 
one-half miles), twenty-two; the Ohio & jMississippi, twenty-one, and the 
Whitewater, six. The total value of railroad property in the county, as 
assessed by the State board of equalization in 1883, was $550,562. There 
is no railroad in Ohio County. 


The navigation of the Ohio has always been of vast importance to the 


counties bordering upon it. The first boats employed upon its waters 
were canoes and flat-boats, the latter made of stout green oak timber. In 
the early history of the country the broad and gentle surface of the Ohio, 
called the beautiful river, often presented an animated and joyous spec- 
tacle, with its large and commodious boats of emigrants quietly floating 
down the -stream. Each boat would contain one or more families of men, 
women and children, with their domestic animals and furniture. A 
little hut at one end of the boat was the cabin, and furnished protection 
from the rain, being parlor, bed-room and kitchen for the household. 

Sometimes a large raft of pine boards would float down from the Al- 
legheny, containing a neat log- hut, and present a novel aspect, the emi- 
grants bringing with them their all — their wives, children, horses, cattle, 
sheep, fowls, the dog, wagon and household furniture of all sorts. There 
was no toil in the journey down the stream. Two oars appropriately 
placed very easily kept the raft in the center of the stream. With corn 
meal on board, milk from the cow, and abundance of game from the shore, 
the emigrant fared sumptuously on his voyage. Not unfrequently 
several of these rafts would join together, and form a floating village of 
six or seven families, and their live stock. 

At an early period regular lines of keel-boats were established be- 
tween Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, each boat making a trip in fom' weeks. 
These boats had separate cabins for ladies and gentlemen. The pro- 
prietor of one of these lines announced that "passengers will be supplied 
with provisions and liquors of all kinds, of the finest quality, and at the 
most reasonable rates possible. Persons desiring to work their passage 
will be admitted on finding themselves, subject, however, to the same 
order and directions from the master of the boat as the rest of the work- 
ing hands of the boat's crew." These boats, as well as the flat-boats, 
were propelled by oars and setting poles. Their cargoes were necessarily 
light, especially in going up stream. 

The first improvement in the navigation of the Ohio, according to 
Judge Burnet, was the introduction of barges moved by sails, when the 
wind permitted, and at other times by oars and poles, as the state of the 
water might require. These vessels were constructed to carry from fifty 
to 100 tons. In wet seasons, if properly manned, they could make two 
trips between Cincinnati and New Orleans in a year. The increased 
quantity of cargo they carried reduced the price of freight, and enabled 
them to transport from New Orleans to Cincinnati at from $5 to $6 
per 100, which was below the average charge of carriage across the 
mountains. From that time most of the groceries used in the Territory 
were brought up the river by these barges; as the price of freight was 
diminished, the quantity of produce shipped was proportionately in* 


creased. The introduction of this mode of navigating the Ohio and 
Mississippi was an epoch in the history of the West. The barges were 
well adapted to the purpose for which they were designed, and continued 
in use until navigation by steamboats became common. 

But for some time after the introduction of keel-boats, flat-boating 
down the Ohio and Mississippi was an important business. About the 
year 1820 building flat-boats at and near Hartford assumed importance. 
Sometimes as many as forty or fifty, or even sixty, would be loading at 
one time in that vicinity. These boats were usually from sixty to eighty 
feet long by from fourteen to sixteen wide, and drew from thirty to 
thirty-six inches of water. Starting upon the Ohio, usually in March, 
on reaching the Mississippi these boats would form fleets of as many as 
twenty.' Landing every night, the crew would remain ashore until after 
breakfast. Many boats were loaded at Rising Sun. The flat-boat busi- 
ness began to decline subsequent to 1830. 

The lirst steamboat which made a voyage down the Ohio left Pitts- 
burgh in October, 1811, and in four days arrived at Louisville. This 
boat was called the " New Orleans," and on its first voyage carried no 
freight or passengers. In consequence of the small depth of water in 
the rapids, the boat was detained at Louisville for three weeks. It 
improved the time in making several trips between Louisville and Cin- 
cinnati. The comparatively few and scattered inhabitants on the Indi- 
ana side of the river, whom even the rumor of such an invention had 
never reached, when they gazed upon the novel appearance of the vessel, 
saw the rapidity with which it made its way over the waters and heard 
the strange noise caused by the stream rushing from the valves, were 
excited with a mixture of surprise and terror. 

Several small steamboats were constructed at Pittsburgh, Brownsville 
and Wheeling within the next five years, but it was not until the suc- 
cessful voyage of the " Washington" between Louisville and New Orleans 
in 1817 that the general public were convinced that steamboat navigation 
of the western rivers would succeed. The " General Pike," built at Cincin- 
nati in 1818, to ply between Louisville, Cincinnati and Maysville, is said 
to have been the first steamboat on the Ohio for the exclusive accommo- 
dation of passengers. This vessel measured 100 feet keel, twenty -five 
beam, and drew three feet three inches of water. The cabin was forty 
feet long and twenty-five broad. 




PiONEEK Farming— Early Implements— Pioneer Plowing— Reaping 
WITH THE Sickle— Horses— Cattle— Swine— Principal Crops- The 
Floating Barn— A.gricultural Societies— Ohio and Switzerland 
County Agricultural Society— Dearborn County Agricultural 
Society— Southeast Indiana ^agricultural Society— Lawrence- 
burgh xVgricultural Association. 

lyj'OTWITHSTANDING the wonderful fertility of the rich, virgin soil 
JL N| when the old forests were cut away, and the genial and vivifying rays 
of the sun shone upon the first crops planted by the hand of man, agricul- 
ture was not the road to wealth with the early settlers. The great embar- 
rassment under which the pioneer farmer- labored was the difficulty of get- 
ting the products of his soil to a market. In spite of roots and stumps, 
sprouts and bushes, the newly cleared land brought forth bountiful har 
vests; but the wagon roads were imperfect, canals and railroads un- 
thought of, and the distance by the Ohio River to the principal markets 
so great, the navigation so difficult, tedious and hazardous, that the early 
farmer had little encouragement to increase the products of his fields 
beyond the wants of his family, and the supply of the limited home mar- 
ket created by the wants of the inhabitants of the neighboring towns 
and the newly-arrived immigrants. The average time required for a jour- 
ney by a flat-boat propelled by oars and poles, from Lawrenceburgh to 
New Orleans and return, was six months. The cargoes taken in these 
boats were necessarily light; the boats could not be easily brought back, 
and were generally abandoned at New Orleans and the crew returned by 
land, sometimes on foot through a wilderness of hundreds of miles. A 
large part of the proceeds of the cargo was necessarily consumed in the 
cost of taking it to market. 

Hogs and cattle were driven afoot over the mountains, and, after a 
journey of a month or six weeks, fouad an uncertain market in Baltimore. 
Corn rarely commanded more than 10 or 12 cents per bushel; wheat, 30 
or 40 cents; hay was from $3 to $4 per ton; flour from $1.50 to $2 per 
hundred; pork from $1 to $2 per hundred; the average price of good 
beef was $1.50 per hundred, while oats, potatoes, butter and eggs 
scarcely had a market value, and the sale of cabbage and turnips was 


almost unlieard of. But the early farmers supplied tLeir homes liberally 
with the comforts of pioneer life; they lived independently, and, perhaps, 
were as happy and contented as those who have the luxuries brought by 
wealth and commence. 

The proximity of a spring, rather than the claims of taste or sanitary 
considerations, usually determined the location of the first residence of 
the pioneer farmer; and the log stable and the corn-crib, made of rails 
or poles, were apt to be in close proximity to the residence. The first 
fences, both for the fields and the door-yard, were made of rails in the 
form of the Virginia, or worm fence. This, in a new country, where 
timber, readily split with the wedge and maul, was abundant, was the 
cheapest and the most durable fence. Unsightly as it is, it is yet super- 
seded to a limited extent only by post and rail, board or wire fences, or 


The agricultural implements of the pioneers were necessarily few in 
number and made simple in construction — often made on the farm with 
some assistance from the noir^hboring blacksmiths. The plows used were 
the bar- share and the shovel. The iron part of the former consisted of 
a bar of iron about two feet long, and a broad share of iron welded to 
it. At the extreme point was a coulter that passed through a beam six 
or seven feet long, to which were attached handles of corresponding 
length. The mold board was a wooden one split out of winding tim- 
ber, or hewed into a winding shape in order to turn the soil over. The 
whole length of the plow, from the fore end of the beam to the ends of 
the handles, was eight or ten feet. Newly cleared ground was with this 
plow broken up with great difficulty. On this subject a pioneer says: 
"The old bar-share plow, with a coulter and wooden mold board, was 
the best plow then in use, though by far the greatest number used only 
the shovel plow, which answered an excellent purpose in the loose rich 
alluvium soil in its virgin purity, free from weeds and grass. The shovel 
was all the iron connected with the plow, and not unlike those in use at 
the present day. The gearing or harness used by a majority of our pio- 
neers was so novel in its construction that I must describe it. The bridle 
for the horse was an iron bit, the balance being of small rope. The col- 
lar was made of shucks (the husks of the corn). The hames were shaped 
out of a crooked oak or a hickory root, fastened at the top with a cord 
and at the bottom in the same way. The traces were of rope, the back- 
band being of tow cloth. The whiffle-tree or single-tree was of wood, 
with a notch on each end; the trace hitched by a loop over the whiffle- 
tree, and to the hame through a hole. The whiffle tree was attached to 
the double-tree by a hickory withe, and sometimes by a wooden clevis 


made of two pieces of some tough wood, with wooden pin: the double- 
tree fastened to the end of the plow beam by the same form of 
clevis and sometimes an iron one. To the rope bridle was attached a 
cord, called a single-line, by which the horse was driven. By far the 
largest number of plow-teams was only a single horse, geared as before 
described, and hitched to the shovel-plow, the ground broken up, crossed 
oflf and tended by the same plow and horse." 

The cast-iron plow was slowly introduced. The early harrows were 
made of bars of wood and wooden teeth, and were rude and homely in 
construction. Sometimes, in place of the harrow, a brush, weighted 
down with a piece of timber, was dragged over the ground. The sickle 
was in universal use for harvesting grain until about 1825, when it was 
gradually superseded by the cradle. The sickle is one of the most an- 
cient of farming implements; but reaping with the sickle was always slow 
and laborious. For the twenty years succeeding 1830, there were few 
farmers who did not know how to swing the cradle and scythe, but dur- 
ing the next twenty years reapers and mowers, drawn by horses, became 
almost the only harvesters of grain and grass. The first reaping ma- 
chines merely cut the grain; a raker was necessary to gather the grain 
into sheaves ready for the binders. Self-raking reaping machines soon 
followed, and, about 1878, self-binding machines were introduced. Of 
the two old-fashioned methods of separating the grain from the straw — 
the flail and the tramping with horses — the latter was the most common 
in this region. To-day, instead of this slow and wasteful method, a 
horse or steam-power thresher not only separates the grain, but winnows 
it and carries the straw to the stack, all at the same time. 


A newspaper writer thus describes the harvesting of the pioneers: 
" My first experience in harvesting was about 1825. Then about 
twenty-five or more men would work together. The reapers went to the 
farm-house where they were to harvest, and there they would find a lunch 
set out, consisting of milk, bread and butter, cold ham sliced, onions, 
etc., then a tanzy bitters, after which they get to the field. There a 
leader was chosen, generally by the owner of the field. The leader com- 
mences; he cuts a space about four feet wide and two feet deep; the 
second falls in, and cuts the same space, and so on until all are cutting. 
They cut to the middle of the field, and then if the leader is acquainted 
with all his men he will stand and rest for from one to five minutes; if 
not, he will inspect the work of every one thoroughly, and commend or 
reprimand as he thinks the reapers deserve. After the brief rest is over, 
the leader gives the word to go ahead, and they cut to the end. If the 


grain should be very wet they let it lie in grips until it is dry enough to 
bind. They keep on cutting until about 8 o'clock, when they breakfast. 
About 9 o'clock they commence again. Dinner is served at 12. About 4 
o'clock a piece with coffee, some of the reapers putting a good dram in 
their coffee. Early in the morning the boys were allowed to take their 
sickles and gouge for their fathers; that is, to go to the far end of their 
through and reap till they would meet them, but as soon as the dew was 
off they had to hang up their sickles. Some would be detailed to carry 
water, others placed under some old man and made to gather sheaves. 
All this seems very slow work compared with that of the reaping 
machine, but the modern reaper could have done nothing in the fields 
then, for the stumps stood as thick as the shocks. 

"About 1827 there were two cradles in our fields, but they never cut 
as clean as the sickle or the reaping machine. But the cradles soon 
caused the sickles to be hung up in the barn, seldom to be taken down 
except for the purpose of cutting a patch of grain blown down. Wages 
for reapers were 50 cents per day." 

The capital invested in domestic animals constitutes a large item in 
the wealth of the counties. Improvements in breeds of all the farm ani- 
mals have kept pace with the improvements in agricultural implements 
and methods of tilling the soil. After the land had been generally 
cleared of the forests, the necessity of oxen ceased, and interest in the 
improvement of the horse commenced. The possession of good horses — 
elegant, strong and speedy — became a matter of pride with the farmer. 
Speed was not considered of special value in the horse until the improve- 
ments in the public roads rendered possible the use of the modern light 

The beneficial effect of agricultural fairs was soon seen in the 
improvement of live stock, and especially of horses. Before the estab- 
lishment of fairs the horses of this region were of a most uncertain 
and inferior breed. Soon after the Morgan horses, Tom Crowders, 
Hio-hlanders and other good horses were introduced. The Morgans 
came first, and a number of fine horses of the breed were exhibited at 
early fairs, and were much admired. Whenever a new breed has been 
introduced the tendency has always been to amalgamate it with stock 
already in use. The strains of blood have not therefore been kept dis- 
tinct. The farm horses or horses for general purposes found throughout 
the counties are of mixed and uncertain blood, but it is certain that they 
have been greatly improved within thirty years in style, action, form, 
temper and endurance. 


■2/'tlf?L Ji ^ 


The cattle of the early settlers were introduced from various quarters, 
eraigrants from Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky bringing many 
with them; and it is believed by some that cattle raised by the Indians 
previous to the first settlement by the whites, were an element in the 
original or common herds in the West. Of course they were a heteroge- 
neous collection, yet in process of time, the stock was assimilated to the 
locality, acquiring local characteristics, by which the experienced cattle- 
dealer determined from their general appearance the region in which 
they were reared. 

The early farmers suffered their cattle to wander through the woods 
and uncultivated grounds, browsing for their living, and thus some of 
the native grasses or shrubs were extirpated by being cropped off early 
in the spring before the flowers and seeds were formed. In winter the 
cows were not housed nor sheltered, but found their subsistence at a 
stack of wheat-straw, or in the corn-field, after husking time; or, at best, 
were fed twice a day in an open lot with fodder and unhusked corn. 
The practice, which is still common, of securing the corn before it is 
fully matured, by cutting off the stalks near the ground, and stacking it 
in the field, is said to have originated with the cattle-feeders of Virginia. 

The Patton stock of cattle, introduced into Kentucky early in this 
century, doubtless found their way across the Ohio, and were crossed 
with the cattle on the north side. The Kentucky importation of 1817 
also probably influenced, to some extent, the cattle of this region. Excel- 
lent short-horn cattle continued to be introduced from time to time, until 
there is scarcely a neighhorhood in which more or less of their cross is 
not found. Of lale years the Jerseys and other breeds are finding their 
way into favor. 


A writer on the subject of the swine of the early settlers, gives this 
description of them: "They were long and slim, long-suouted and long- 
legged, with an arched back, and bristles erect from the back of the head 
to the tail, slab-sided, active and healthy. The 'sapling-splitter' and 
'razor-back,' as he was called, was ever in the search for food, and quick 
to take alarm. He was capable of making a heavy hog, but required two 
years or more to mature, and. until a short time before butchering or 
marketing, was suffered to run at large, subsisting mainly as a forager, 
and in the fall fattening on the 'mast.' " 

What a contrast between the bogs of that period and those of 1885! 
Probably no change wrought in the stock of the farmer is so marked as 
in this animal. Those of to-day mature early and are almost the reverse 
of the razor-back, having a small head, small ear, short neck, with a 


long body and hams, and in general shape are almost square, and are 
capable of taking on 250 pounds of flesh in eight or ten months. 

Of the improved breeds of swine, the Suffolks, Chester Whites, 
Berkshires and Poland Chinas are foremost. 


Corn is especially adapted to the rich bottoms which receive frequent 
additions of rich alluvium from the overflowing river and creeks. The 
crop, however, is sometimes destroyed by late floods. In what is known 
as the "big bottom," a large tract in Dearborn County extending from 
the junction of the Whitewater and Miami Rivers to their mouth, and 
thence along the Ohio to the mouth of Tanner's Creek at Aurora, a dis- 
tance of ten miles, corn is almost the exclusive crop. Fields on these 
bottoms which have been planted in corn for forty years in succession, 
will produce without manure from sixty to one hundred bushels per 
acre. The average is about seventy five bushels. These bottoms are 
valued very highly on account of their productiveness, and being subject 
to occasional inundations from back-water from the Ohio, no fears are 
entertained of an exhaustion of their fertility. In Ohio County there 
are extensive tracts of fertile bottom lands along Laughery Creek and 
the Ohio, and Indian corn is perhaps the most important crop in Ohio 
and Switzerland Counties. 

Wheat is an important crop in this region; oats, rye and barley are 
also grown to some extent. Potatoes form an important crop in Ohio 
County, it being nothing unusual for a farmer to cultivate forty acres in 
potatoes, producing from fifty to three hundred bushels per acre. Grass 
is the principal crop on the uplands. Two tons of hay from one acre 
are not uncommon, but the average yield is about one ton per acre, 
Switzerland County has been noted for the amount of timothy hay 
shipped to the Southern market. The hay is pressed into bales by what 
is generally called the "Morman Hay Press." Some years ago there 
were reported to be about two hundred of these presses in Switzerland 
County and about fifty in Ohio County. In Cotton Township, in the 
former county, where this press was invented and the first one erected, 
there were said to be fifty in operation. In recent years tobacco grow- 
ing has become an important industry in southeast Indiana. 


Mr. Jesse Hunt, of Lawrenceburgh, was one of the first settlers of 
that place, and about the year 1819 erected "Hunt's Hotel," which, by 
nhe way, was considered the "star" hotel of this country as long as Mr. 

*By George W. Lane. 


Hunt kept it. As he had to raise his own hay, he cleared a piecje of 
ground (upon which the Methodist Church was afterward built), and 
seeded it down to grass, every year clearing a little more land, and rais- 
ing yearly more than was necessary for home consumption, until he 
found a surplus of hay upon his hands which he knew not how to dis- 
pose of. After thinking over the matter for some time, he concluded 
that there must be a market for hay somewhere down the river, and made 
up his mind to put his hay afloat and try to find that market. But there 
was one great difficulty which stood in the way of this project: the bulk 
of the hay would prevent its being compact enough to make the trans- 
portation of it profitable. Here indeed was a dilemma; but ever fertile 
in expedients, Mr. Hunt conceived the idea of pressing his hay. But 
how to construct a machine for doing this puzzled him worse than ever, 
and brought his speculation to a stand. At this stage of the proceed- 
ings he bethought him of a Mr. Morrison, an "universal genius," and a 
man of great inventive propensities, who lived at Hardintown, and 
who, he thought, if any one, could aid him in the construction of his 
machine. So, posting up to Hardintown, he sought Mr. Morrison, and 
laid his plans before him. Mr. M. entered heartily into the scheme, and 
setting to work in a few days turned out the first hay press ever invented 
— an old-fashioned, wooden screw press. When it was completed Mr. 
M. went on to Washington and procured a patent for his invention. 
Meanwhile Mr. Hunt had the press put up, and set to work baling his 
hay. The neighbors gathered around to witness the operations of the 
new "hay-mil]," which was the object of as much curiosity as would 
have been a traveling menagerie to the denizens of this then sparsely 
settled country. Some shook their heads, others laughed outright, and 
all persisted in assuring Mr. Hunt that they would soon see in him a 
walking illustration that "a fool and his money are soon parted." But 
Mr. H. "reckoned he knew a thing or two," and kept on about his busi- 
ness, despite their taunts and jeers. The hay baled, the next thing to 
be done was to build a boat to put it in. This was accomplished in due 
time, and the first hay boat that ever floated down the Ohio received its 
load preparatory to starting for a market. From his inexperience in 
the business, Mr. Hunt had some difficulty in constructing sweeps, etc., 
to suit him, but having the whole forest to go to, he at last got his boat 
rigged out, and everything ready for a start. On the day of his depar- 
ture the whole settlement turned out to see the "floating barn" fairly 
under way, and amid the not very complimentary remarks of the more 
knowing ones, and the ridicule of the whole crowd, the moorings were 
cast off, and the boat floated along with the current, and was soon lost to 
their sight as it swept around the nearest bend. 


"The crowd, with fingers in their mouths, 
"Went homeward, one by one." 

Mr. Hunt's hay speculation furnished material for gossip for a few 
days, and was then almost entirely forgotten. 

In those days the arrival of a steamboat at the wharf was not a mat- 
ter of such comparative indifference as at present. There were then but 
very few boats navigating the Western rivers, and the stoppage of a boat 
at a river town brought all the inhabitants to the bank to see who was 
going to land, learn the news, etc. Steamboat whistles had not then 
come into use, and each boat carried a small cannon, which was fired off 
to announce its approach to town. One day, it may have been three or 
four weeks after Mr. Hunt's departure, the booming of a cannon an- 
nounced to the citizens of Lawrenceburgh that a steamboat was ap- 
proaching their village. Instantly all work was stopped; the blacksmith 
dropped his sledge, the carpenter his plane, the merchant his yardstick, 
and all repaired to the bank of the river to watch the approaching boat. 
On she came, and when she had arrived sufficiently near to enable the 
people on the shore to distinguish one individual from another, they saw 
Jesse Hunt standing erect upon the prow. The boat landed, and the 
eager crowd gathered around Mr. Hunt, with, "Well, Jesse, how far 
down did you get with your 'floating barn' before you stove her?" 
"What's hay worth in New Orleans?" "Where's the wreck of your 
boat?" etc., etc. As soon as he could get an opportunity, Mr. Hunt told 
them that he had got along very well until he arrived at the mouth of 
White River, where they were lying one day, when a steamboat came 
up, and a stranger, hailing Mr. Hunt, asked him what he would take a 
ton for his hay. He replied $30. The stranger accepted the offer, the 
hay changed hands, and IMr. Hunt returned home. The crowd which 
had gathered around him, expecting to have some rare sport at his 
expense, felt rather cheap at this (to them) unexpected result of his spec- 
•ulation, and quietly dispersed. 

As it was when Columbus made the egg stand upon its end, so it was 
in this case. The ice having been broken, others built boats and sent 
their hay down the river, from which they realized handsome profits. 
Thus was a trade commenced which has increased from year to year as 
the county became more thickly settled, until hay has become a leading 
article of export, affording employment to a large number of our citi- 
zens in preparing it and getting it to market, and returning a handsome 
profit to those who invest their money in speculating upon it. We can 
hardly pass a farm in a ride of ten miles into the country but what has 
a hay press, and whenever we see one it reminds us of the "hay mill" 
that was so universally ridiculed by the good people of Lawrenceburgh 
in 1819. 



The Ohio and Switzerland County Agricultural Society was organized 
October 11, 1851. The first annual fair of the society was held at Rising 
Sun, October 6 and 7, 1852, at which the attendance was reported unex- 
pectedly large, numbering about 3,000 people. The exhibit of agricult- 
ural and mechanical articles was commendable. The number of pre- 
miums awarded was sixty- seven, and the amount paid for premiums was 
$101 besides a number of copies of the report of the State Board of 
Agriculture. At this time John Hall was president and W. M. French, 
secretary. For four or five years the exhibitions of the society were held 
alternately between Rising Sun and Vevay, the citizens of those places 
contributing the funds necessary to fit up the grounds. In 1857, a per- 
manent site for a fair ground was secured near Enterprize, in Switzer- 
land County, since which time the exhibitions have been held there. In 
1877 the association had twenty-five acres. Success has almost invari- 
ably attended the fairs of the society. In 1880, the secretary reported 
1,080 entries, $1,700 paid out in premiums; $400 expended in sub- 
stantial improvements; all claims against the society paid and a balance 
in the treasury of $891.60. 

The Dearborn County Agricultural Society was organized April 10, 
1852. The first officers were Seth Piatt, president; Gersham Dunn and 
John D. Johnson, vice-presidents, and Francis Worley, secretary. The 
first annual fair was held at Manchester, October 27, 28, and 29, 1852. 
In that year the society numbered 125 members. The receipts and ex- 
penditures of the society the first year were as follows: 

From fees of members •. $117.00 

" county 60.00 

" premium donated 13.00 

" proceeds of fair 71.75 


Paid amount of premiums $83.00 

" printing 8.00 

" contingent expenses of fair 11.45 

" books and stationery 11.08 


Balance in treasury $148.22 

In 1856, the Dearborn County Fairs began to be held at Aurora. 
The society had there enclosed nine acres of ground leased for five years. 
In 1858 the society had 600 members. 

The Southeastern Indiana Agricultural Society was organized as a 
stock company in 1869, and was a reorganization of the Aurora society. 


March 4, 1869, the Dearborn County Agricultural Society met and 
resolved to abandon their organization, and to organize a new society 
under the laws of Indiana to be known as the Southeastern Indiana Agri- 
cultural, Horticultural and Mechanical Association. The first fair of the 
new organization was held September 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, 1869. The 
receipts were $2,210.10; the amount paid for premiums was |1,656, and 
$557 were expended on the grounds. The fair ground is located one- 
half mile northwest of Aurora in a beautiful grove of maple-trees. The 
ground is held in trust by the city for the use of the society; the im- 
provements are owned by the society. 

The Lawrenceburgh Agricultural Association held its first fair in 
1879. The association has splendid fair grounds, with a half-mile track, 
and a covered stand with a seating capacity of 2,500. The grounds are 
beautifully situated, and the appointments complete. The city has been 
liberal to the society in donations. The secretary, in his report for 
1882, said: "The past has been very unlucky in some respects. Fire 
has twice destroyed forty-eight box stalls and a barn. The first time the 
loss was $1,800, but the second time, luckily, we were insured for $1,200, 
about two-thirds of the damage sustained. In the winter of 1882 the 
Miami and Ohio Rivers broke over their banks, and went rushing through 
the fair grounds at a lively rate, carying desolation in their wake, and 
playing sad havoc with the grounds generally. The association was 
damaged fully $1,000 by this catastrophe. Notwithstanding these dis- 
couragements, the directors went to work, built new box stalls and barn, 
a large and fine art hall costing $2,000, and made other improvements. 
The success of the fair of 1882 was phenomenal. It rained every day 
during the fair, and by looking at the gate receipts you find that the at- 
tendance was astonishingly large." 




The Legal Business of the Pioneers— The Practice of Law in the 
Territorial Courts— The Lawyers and practice in the Early 
State Courts— The Pioneer Lawyers of Dearborn County — 
Sketches of Some Deceased Members of the Bar. 

IT is probable that the legal business of the earliest pioneers of south 
east Indiana was transacted at Cincinnati, which was the most im-' 
portant town northwest of the Ohio. The first courts in Indiana were 
held at Vincennes, and that place was the first seat of justice of the re- 
gion comprising Dearborn and Ohio Counties, but its distance, and the 
fact that at that time there had been no sales of land by the United 
States, make it doubtful if any legal business for this region was trans- 
acted at that ancient town. Cincinnati was accessible; was the seat of 
justice for this region from 1798 to 1802, and the United States land 
office was located there. In 1796, when the first settlements were com- 
menced in Dearborn County, there were nine practicing attorneys in the 
little village of Cincinnati, all of whom, except two, says Judge Burnet, 
became confirmed drunkards, and descended to premature graves. The 
same writer says of the early lawyers and the practice of law in the ter- 
ritory northwest of the Ohio: 

"It was always my opinion that there was a fair proportion of genius 
and talent among the early members of the bar. Some of them, it is 
true, were uneducated, and had to acquire their legal knowledge after 
they assumed the profession. These were not numerous, but were noisy 
and officious, and, for some time, were able to procure a considerable 
amount of practice. This may be accounted for, in part, by the fact 
that the docket contained a large number of actions for slander and as- 
sault and battery, and indictments for larceny, libels and the like, which 
generally originated among the followers of the army, who were numer- 
ous, consisting of pack-horsemen, bullock-drivers, boatmen and artificers, 
who were not always very discriminating in the selection of counsel. 

"In 1796 our circuit was a very extended one, though it included but 
three counties — Washington, Hamilton and Wayne. Nevertheless, in De- 
cember, 1799 Mr. St. Clair and myself attended the court at Vincennes, 
in the county of Knox, with a view of engaging in the practice. But 


the distance, connected with the fact that the docket did not present a 
prospect of much lucrative business, induced us to abandon the project. 

"When it is recollected that the country at that time, and for some 
years thereafter, was destitute of roads, bridges and ferries, and even of 
white inhabitants, after traveling thirty or forty miles from the county 
towns, it might naturally be concluded that our journeys through the 
wilderness, from court to court, were irksome and unpleasant. Such, 
however, was not the fact. We took care to provide comfortable stores, 
which we were enabled to transport on our horses, with the aid of a 
pack-horse, and our minds were made up to endure anything that might 
occur. The want of bridges and ferries rendered the art of swimming 
an indispensable qualification of a good hackney. No man purchased a 
horse for the saddle without being first assured that he was a safe swim- 
mer, and when mounted on such a steed he felt himself secure. Gener- 
ally, our parties consisted of four or five, and were, in reality, more like 
excursions for amusement than journeys of fatigue and distress." 

Oliver H. Smith, in speaking of the lawyers of early Indiana, says: "Our 
lawyers were what the world calls self made men, meaning men who have 
not had the advantages of rich fathers and early education, to whom the 
higher seminaries and colleges were sealed books; men gifted by nature 
with strong, vigorous, clear intellects, fine health and sound constitutions; 
men who, like the newly hatched swan, were directed by nature to their 
proper elements, their proper professions. Few of them failed of success. 
Necessity urged to action. With most of them it was 'root or die.' In 
ninety-nine cases out of every hundred of the failures in the dif- 
ferent professions and avocations in life, charged by the world to ' bad 
luck,' it is nothing more nor less than the selection of a profession, 
avocation or business that nature never intended you for. The smallest 
teal or duck, that swims on the bosom of Chesapeake Bay, would sink 
and drown, in that element, the best blooded and finest game-cock that 
ever old Virginia produced in her most chivalric days; while in the cock- 
pit the teal or duck would be nowhere in the fight. 

"Our counties furnished too little business for the resident attorneys; 
we all looked to a circuit practice. Some rode the whole circuit, and 
others over but few counties. We sometimes had a little sparring in our 
cases in trials, but it ended there, and we stood banded together like 
brothers. At the Rush Circuit Court my friend Judge Perry bargained 
for a pony for $25, to be delivered the next day, on a credit of six months. 
The man came with the pony, but required security of the Judge for the 
$25. The Judge drew the note at the top of a sheet of foolscap and 
signed it. I signed it; James Rariden signed and passed it on, and on 
it went from lawyer to lawyer around the bar, till some twenty of us had 


signed it. I then handed it up to the court, and the three judges put 
their names to it. Judge Perry presented it to the man he had bought 
the pony of, but he promptly refused to receive it. 'Do you think I am 
a fool, to let you get the court and all the lawyers on your side ? I see 
you intend to cheat me out of my pony.' Up he jumped and ran out of 
the court house on full gallop. 

" The great variety of trials and incidents on the circuit gave to the 
life of a traveling attorney an interest that we all relished exceedingly. 
There was none of the Green Bay City monotony, no dyspepsia, no gout, 
no ennui, rheumatism or neuralgia; consumption was a stranger among 
us. An occasional jump of the ^toothache, relieved by the turnkey of 
the first doctor we came to, was the worst. All was fun, good humor, 
fine jokes well received, good appetites and sound sleeping, cheerful 
landlords and good-natured landladies at the head of the table. We 
rode first-class hoi'ses: Gen. Noble on 'Wrangler,' for which he gave 
$60; Drew on ' Drew Gray,' cost $70; Caswell on 'Blue Dick,' cost $65; 
Rariden on 'Old Gray,' cost $80; John Test on 'Bay Filly,' cost $50; 
Gen. McKinney on 'McKinney Roan,' cost $45; David Wallace on 
'Ball,' cost $40; Amos Lane on ' Big Sorrel,' cost $60; Judge Eggleston 
on 'Indian pony,' cost $35; George H. Dunn on 'Dancing Rabbit,' cost 
$40; James B. Ray on 'Red Jacket,' cost $60; Martin M. Ray on 
'John,' cost $35; William R. Morrison 'Jacob,' cost $50; Charles H. 
Test on 'Archie,' cost $40; John S. Newman on 'Clay Bank,' cost $60; 
and I rode 'Grey Fox,' that cost me $90. These were the highest prices 
at that day for the very best traveling horses in the country. They were 
trained to the cross-pole mud roads, and to swimming. 

" Our attorneys were ready, off-hand practitioners, seldom at fault for 
the occasion. Sometimes we had to meet attorneys from other States, 
who would tire the Latin and technical terms with a triumphant air, but 
in most cases they were foiled by the quick retorts of our bar." 

The following named persons were members of the bar of Dearborn 
County and practiced before the courts of the county prior to 1820: 
James Dill, J. B. Thomas, Thomas Wardell, John Lawrence, Elijah 
Sparks, Amos Lane, Jesse L. Holman, James Noble, Stephen C. 
Stevens, William Hendricks, Daniel J. Caswell, Moses Hitchcock. 

Subsequent to 1820 appear the names of John Test, Sr., George H. 
Dunn, Edwin Pratt, Ezekiel Walker, Arthur St. Clair Vance, Philip L. 
Spooner, Horace Bassett, Henry Cunlifife, D. S. Major, James T. Brown, 
Theodore and Carter Gazlay. 

The following list of the members of the bar of Dearborn County in 
1871 was prepared by W. W. Tilley in an historical address deposited 
in the corner-stone of the court house: Daniel S. Major, William S. 


Holman, -John D. Haynes, John Schwartz, John K. Thompson, William 
Wirt Tilley, George B. Fitch, Noah S. Givan, Francis Adkinson, Will- 
iam H. Bainbridge, Omar F. Roberts, George W. Roberts, E. W. Adkin- 
son, Hamilton Conaway, William H. Mathews, Isaac M. Dunn, Charles 
S. Dunn, Hugh D. McMullen, O. B. Liddell, Richard Gregg and George 
R. Brumblay. 

When the first term of court in Ohio County convened on the second 
Monday of December, 1844, the resident bar of that county consisted of 
one member only, Asaph Buck, who soon after removed to Wilmington 
in Dearborn County. On the second day of the term, Daniel Kelso, 
James Brown, Theodore Gazley, Daniel S. Major, A. C. Downey, J. S. 
Jelley and P. L. Spooner were admitted as attorneys of the court. Of 
these Hon. A. C. Downey and James S. Jelley, located in Rising Sun, 
where they continued to reside. A. C. Downey became circuit judge in 
1850 and filled that office until 1858, and in 1870 was elected to the 
supreme bench. In 1846 Samuel Dibble and John W. Spencer were ad- 
mitted to the bar and located in Rising Sun; the former died soon after 
and the latter continued in the practice until his death in 1859. Henry 
A. Downey was admitted to the bar in 1849 and practiced at Rising Sun 
until 1858, when he removed to Vevay. John J. Hayden was admitted 
in 1850, and, in 1858, was elected common pleas judge, which office he 
resigned in 1860 and moved to Indiaaapolis. 

GEN. JAMES DILL, an Irish barrister, who immigrated to America 
and was a soldier in the war of 1812. He was the friend and associate 
of Gen. Harrison and Gen. St. Clair, and married the daughter of the 
latter. Senator Oliver H. Smith, who studied law with him, thus de- 
scribes his preceptor: "He was frank and open in his intercourse with 
others, about the common height, wore a long cue, dressed with taste, 
features good, eyelids heavy, hair thrown back in front." Judge Will- 
iam S. Holman says: "Gen. James Dill is a grand character in the 
history of Dearborn County. He was the last of our gentlemen of the 
old school. Forty years ago the spirit of Westminster pervaded our 
jurisprudence. It appeared even in our forms of procedure. There was 
infinitely more of the pomp and show of judicial authority then than 
now. When Gen. Dill appeared in court, it was in the full costume of 
the gentlemen of the last century — his knee breeches and silver buckles 
and venerable cue neatly plaited and flowing over his shoulders, 
seemed a mild protest against the leveling tendencies of the age; but 
nothing could impair the hold which the gallant soldier and courtly and 
witty Irishman had on the friendship of the people of this county. He 
remained clerk for many years, and until his death." Gen. Dill was a 
member of the Territorial Legislature, and served as speaker of the House 


in that body. He was a member of the convention which formed the 
first constitution of Indiana, and was chairman of the committees on 
impeachments and the militia. 

JESSE B. THOMAS, one of the first lawyers of Dearborn County, was 
born in Hagerstown, Md., in the year 1777, and came west in 1799, and 
studied law with his brother, Richard Symmes Thomas, of Bracken 
County, Ky. On the organization of Dearborn County, Indiana 
Territory, March 7, 1803, he located in Lawrenceburgh as a practicing 
lawyer. The first election of members to the Territorial Legislature, was 
held January 3, 1805. Jesse B. Thomas was elected a member for 
Dearborn County, and served in that body as speaker of the House, Ben- 
jamin Chambers, of the same county, being president of the council. 
Mr. Thomas served as speaker of House at the first and second session of 
the Territorial Legislature, when he was elected a delegate from the 
Territory to Congress. On the organization of Illinois Territory, he was 
appointed by the President of the United States one of the judges of 
that Territory, and removed to Kaskaskia; thence to Cahokia and thence 
to Edwardsville. On the formation of a constitution and State govern- 
ment of Illinois in 1818, he was a delegate to, and president of, the 
convention that formed the constitution of Illinois. Mr. Thomas was 
elected by the first State Legislature as United States Senator, and served 
in that body ten years. He then removed to Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where 
he died in 1853. 

JUDGE ELIJAH SPARKS was born in Queen Anne County, Va., 
about 1770. At the age of nineteen or twenty he became a professor of re- 
ligion and, in 1792, he engaged as a traveling preacher. After one or two 
changes he went to Kentucky and commenced the study of law, and, in 
the fall of 1800, commenced practice in Campbell County, Ky. He sub- 
sequently removed to Bank Lick (now Covington) in the same State, and, 
in the spring of 1806, removed to Lawrenceburgh, at which time John 
Weaver, at one time sheriff of Dearborn County and a brother to Mrs. 
Sparks, was then a United States oflScer, and with a small command occu- 
pied one of the block-houses in what is now Dearborn County. On the 
16th of January, 1814, Mr. Sparks was made one of the Territorial 
judges of Dearborn County, which office he filled until his death in May, 
1815, presiding with great credit. The Rev. Allen Wiley alludes to him 
as "one of the prominent instruments of the planting, spread, and sym- 
metry of Methodism in this part of Indiana." 

HORACE BASSETT was born in Mansfield, Conn., January 18,1782; 
in early life he immigrated to Vermont; he there studied law with Col. 
Mattox, and followed his profession successfully — for some time filling 
the office of State's attorney. He removed to Indiana in 1820, and set- 


tied at Aurora. In 1822 he was elected to the Legislature which met at 
Corydon, and continued to represent the district in which he lived for 
six years. He was a member of the first Legislature that assembled at 
Indianapolis. It was through his instrumentality, in about the year 
1822, that the township system was adopted as a system local to Dear- 
born County. Twenty years later, when, by the adoption of the new 
■constitution of the State, legislation concerning townships, county 
business was required to be uniform, impressed with the value of 
the system, William S. Holman, another member from Dearborn County 
in the State Legislature, introduced the bill extending the system to all 
the counties of the State. This bill passed, and the township system, 
although since greatly modified, became the permanent policy of Indiana. 
In 1832 he was one of the commissioners who removed the Indians from 
tbis State to the far West, beyond the Mississippi. Two years afterward 
he was appointed by Judge Holman clerk of the United States Circuit 
and District Courts, which office he held till the time of his death. He 
became a resident of Indianapolis in 1840, and died in that city Decem- 
ber 18, 1860. Mr. Bassett was universally respected and loved by those 
who knew him. His natural intelligence, united with extensive reading, 
in which much of his time was spent, rendered him a favorite compan- 
ion in the social circle. At his death the committee appointed to draft 
and adopt resolutions expressive of the feelings of the membei's of the bar 
and officers of the United States Circuit Court said: "Inasmuch as it has 
pleased our Heavenly Father to call to Himself our friend and brother, 
Horace Bassett, Esq., who for so many years past has been clerk of the 
Circuit Court of the United States, we his friends and associates have 
met to pay our tribute of respect to and veneration for his memory. It 
is not so much his long and useful life as a lawyer, a legislator and an 
officer of court, as his high merits as a man and Christian, which we de- 
sire to commemorate." * * * 

AMOS LANE, born March 1, 1778, was a native of New York, and at 
the time he left that State for the West, resided at Aurora, not far from 
New York City. Arriving at Cincinnati he halted there a few months, 
and in the spring of 1808 he came to Lawrenceburgh, Ind. Mr. Lane 
being a lawyer by profession sought admission to the bar, but was refused 
license for the sole reason, as he frequently declared, that he was an 
ardent friend of Thomas Jefi"erson. This was in the summer of 1808, 
and in the fall of the same year he crossed the Ohio River with his family 
and located on Judge Piatt's fariu. Not satisfied with his location, he 
constructed a huge canoe, and loading his few household goods and 
family into it, he floated down the Ohio River to Carrollton, Ky., 
but he was so much dissatisfied, with the first sight he had of the town, 


that he returned to Boone County, and located directly opposite 
Lawrenceburgh on the bank of the river at a place than called Tousey- 
town. Here he remained for two years, turning his hand to anything 
that would enable him to make bread for his family. In 1811 he located 
in Burlington and was admitted to the bar of Kentucky. In 1814 he 
returned to Lawrenceburgh and had then no trouble in being admitted 
to th^ bar of Indiana. He soon gained a high place in his profession, 
especially as a criminal lawyer. He distinguished himself in the case of 
the State vs. Amasa Fuller, indicted for murder, appearing as 
counsel for the prosecution. In 1816 he was elected a member of the 
first Legislature of the State of Indiana and was chosen speaker. He 
was re elected in 1817, and was again a member of the Legislature in 
1839. At this time he was a leadings pirit in southern Indiana. In 
1833 he was elected to Congress over' John Test, an able and popular 
Whig. He was re-elected in 1835, defeating Judge George H. Dunn. 
In Congress Mr. Lane was an ardent champion of Gen. Jackson, and 
won the title of " The "Wheel Horse," so ardently and zealously did he 
defend the hero of the Hermitage. As a popular orator Amos Lane had 
but few, if any, equals in the West — Corwin and Clay only excepted. He 
was fully six feet high, of erect and commanding stature, and possessed a 
voice of remarkable force and power, deep and full, over which he had 
complete control. His language was ready and fluent, and being master of 
invective in a marked degree, woe unto the man who incurred his dis- 
pleasure. He had full blue eyes, which were very expressive under 
all circumstances, but when he was aroused by feelings of emotion 
they were positively piercing. Frequently he would close his teeth 
together, and talk through them with a hissing sound that would almost 
make one's flesh crawl. Instantly changing his manner, his voice would 
become soft and mellow, coupled with the most touching tones, that 
would draw teai's from many of his hearers. Amos Lane was abstemious 
in his habits, so far as the use of alcoholic liquors were concerned. He 
was never known to be intoxicated, and men who were intimate with 
him say he did not drink liquor at all. Smoking and chewing tobacco 
he detested all through his life, as two tine rows of white teeth afiorded 
proof. He was equally abstemious in the use of objectionable language, 
never indulging in either profanity or vulgarity. As a lawyer, without 
being the most learned or profound, he achieved remarkable success. 
Judge W. S. Holman said of him, "He was a man of strong will; at 
the forum or on the stump, he neither asked nor gave quarter, but he 
commanded an eloquence that could raise a hurricane or melt his 
audience to tears." He died September 2, 1849, aged seventy-one years, 
and was buried at Lawrenceburgh. 


JUDGE JESSE L. HOLMAN was born at Danville, Ky. , October 24, 
1784. During his infancy his father was killed while seeking to relieve 
a block-house beleaguered by hostile Indians. "With few opportunities 
for instruction, Jesse L., by persistent efforts obtained an English 
education, and in later life became accomplished in the higher mathe 
matics and in general literature. Before he attained his majority, under 
the encouragement of Henry Clay, he published a novel in two volumes, 
entitled "The Errors of Education," which obtained a large circulation 
for that period. He studied law at Lexington, Ky., in the office of 
Henry Clay, and when scarcely of age commenced its practice at Port 
William, now Carrollton, Ky., where he married Elizabeth Masterson, 
an estimable lady of superior accomplishments. In 1810 he removed to 
Indiana Territory and built a cabin on the range of hills that rise 
abruptly from the Ohio Kiver south of Aurora, and to this new home, 
which he called "Veraestan," he removed his family in the same year. 
They brought with them and emancipated a large family of slaves which 
had descended to Mrs. Holman from her father. Here he cleared his 
farm, and the embellishment of his beautiful rural home was to him a 
labor of love. From the time he settled in Indiana Territory until his 
death, his life was almost uninterruptedly devoted to the public service. 
In 1811 he was appointed by Gov. Harrison, prosecuting attorney of 
Dearborn County. In 1814 he represented that county in the Territorial 
Lecrislature and was president of the Legislative Council, and in the same 
year was appointed by Gov. Posey, judge of the Second Judicial Cir- 
cuit of the Territory. In 1816, on the admission of Indiana into the 
Union, he was appointed one of the three supreme judges of Indiana 
by Gov. Jennings, and remained on the supreme bench fourteen years. 
In 1831 he was defeated in the Legislature for United States Senator by 
only one vote, although the Legislature was, politically, strongly against 
him. In 1832 he was elected superintendent of common schools of 
Dearborn County. In 1834 he was appointed by President Jackson, 
United States Judge for the District of Indiana, and held that office un- 
til his death, March 28, 1842. Justice John McLean said of Judge 
Holman: "Of his legal research and acumen he has left enduring 
evidence, but what most excited my admiration was his singleness of 
purpose; he had no motive but to discharge his public duty uprightly." 
Judge Holman was a Baptist preacher, and for years was pastor of the 
Baptist Church at Aurora, preaching regularly when not away on public 
duty. He organized a Union Sunday-school, believed to be the first in 
the State, and was its superintendent up to his death. He laid out the 
city of Aurora and was active in the establishment of Indiana College, 
and was one of the earliest and most devoted friends of Franklin Col- 


lege. No man, in the early history of Indiana, was more highly respect- 
ed and beloved than Jiidge Jesse L. Holman. One who knew him well, 
says: "AVe have often been amused when traveling through the coun- 
try, to hear honest-minded farmers speak of Judge Holman, and with 
what lively recollections they would refer to his visits, giving day and 
date; and often have we heard the remark that this (referring to some 
accident or occurrence) took place the fall after Judge Holman was here, 
or that that happened a year or two years after Judge Holman visited us 
and stopped over night — making his visits an era or important period in 
the history of the family." 

JAMES T. BROWN was born in Mercer County, Ky., in 1795, of a 
Maryland family. He came bo Indiana Territory with his father's 
family about 1814, and grew to manhood near Madison, receiving the 
best educational advantages then ofifered. AUer being admitted to the 
bar he practiced in Decatur County, and soon took a leading position 
at the bar of southeastern Indiana. About 1838 he came to Wilming- 
ton, and practiced with success in Dearborn County until his death. He 
was a man of extraordinary intellectual endowments and a fine lawyer, 
with keen wit, inexhaustible humor and great vigor and terseness of ex- 
pression. There are those yet living who knew him well, and are well 
qualified to give a just estimate of his abilities and learning, who do not 
hesitate to rank James T. Brown as a great lawyer and without a super- 
ior in the bar of his time in the State of Indiana. He was a very- 
eccentric man and had little regard for the customs of polished society. 
A fellow member of the bar said of him soon after his death: "He 
came to Dearborn County thirty years ago, with a piercing black eye, 
a great bald head, an old coat, and no «linen exposed to view; and so he 
remained to the last; yet he would have been a very bold or a very reck- 
less man who would have dared to joke the old gentleman on his antique 
garments or his contempt for ordinary fashions." He never married. 
He died at Lawrenceburgh in 1867. 

GEORGE H. DUNN was a native of the city of New York and came 
to Dearborn County about 1817, an active young man of pleasant manners 
and good appearance. He possessed the qualities which enabled him to 
secure the confidence and respect of the people. As a lawyer he was 
faithful to his clients; his pleadings were exact; his language chaste, 
and his manner in argument kindly and conciliating, but his well- 
rounded sentences were less effective before a jury of plain men than 
the sledge-hammer manners of some of his opponents, yet he was a 
lawyer of influence and few men had sti'onger and more lasting friends. 
He was elected to the Legislature in 1828, 1832 and 1833; was a mem- 
ber of Congress from 1837 to 1839 and State treasurer from 1841 to 


1844. He and Gov. Bigger revised the code of Indiana, and at a later 
period he served as judge of the circuit court. While he was in the 
Legislature the charter of the State bank and its branches and of the 
railroad from Indianapolis to Lawrenceburgh were passed, both of which 
were principally the work of Mr. Dunn. July 4, 1833, the com- 
pletion of the first mile of railroad in Indiana was celebrated at Shelby- 
ville by thousands from all parts of the State, and George H. Dunn was 
the hero of the day. Though disappointment followed disappointment 
he never gave up the enterprise of a railroad from Lawrenceburgh to 
the State capital. To his untiring zeal under every possible discourage- 
ment is to be attributed the final success of that road. To him alone 
belongs the credit of projecting and carrying on to final completion that 
great enterprise, which he did not see fully accomplished until his locks 
were silvered with the labors of many years. On the monument over 
his grave is appropriately placed the representation of a railroad train. 
He died at Lawrenceburgh, January 12, 1854, aged fifty-seven years. 

DANIEL S. MAJOR was born in Dearborn County, near Harrison, 
September 6, 1808. His father, Judge William Major, was one of the 
earliest pioneers of the West. At that early period in the valley of the 
Ohio, facilities for education were limited. But the youth, inspired 
by a manly and just ambition and thirsting for knowledge, will sel- 
dom fail. The plough-boy snatching the elements of learning from the 
school books, while the horse rested at the end of the furrow, or spelling 
out, with unwearied patience, the rudiments by the blaze of the hickory 
bark on the winter fire, is a familiar picture to the land blessed with 

At an early age young Major entered the Miami University at Oxford, 
Ohio. A vigilant student, displaying in early life the patient industry 
which gave so marked a character to his long professional career, he 
graduated with the full honors of that university in September, 1831, 
and in the same month, buoyant with youth and hope, he entered the 
clerk's office of Dearborn County, as a deputy clerk and student of law 
with Gen. Dill. 

He was admitted to the bar September 24, 1832. In a few years he 
reached the front rank of his profession; and as early as the year 1842, 
in commercial law, the branch of jurisprudence to which he especially 
devoted his attention, stood at the head of the bar. At this early day 
his practice extended into the supreme and federal courts of the State; 
and for thirty years he has been in every leading case tried in the courts 
of this county. 

In his long professional life Mr. Major was a model of patient indus- 
try. In term time a case was seldom called, where he appeared for 


either the prosecution or defense, without finding him fully prepared 
upon the law and the facts. 

Mr. Major had the bearing of a gentleman trained in the universi- 
ties. He was scrupulously precise and formal in his personal bearing 
and address, dignified, yet courteous and aflfable; his mind singularly 
well balanced, and capable of long and intense application — displaying 
more strength than activity. He could not jump at conclusions, or 
seize them intuitively, but reached them by patient and persistent mental 
effort. He would not be hurried in the conduct of a cause, but brought 
out patiently and persistently every fact; and pressed every consideration 
upon the court or jury that justice to his client required. 

As an advocate Mr. Major was strong, clear and logical; not eloquent 
in the usual sense of the term, seldom embellishing with ornament his 
speeches to court or jury; but generally content with a clean and forci- 
ble presentation of his case. His utterance was clear and distinct. He 
spoke with coolness and determination; yet, when the occasion required, 
he displayed some of the highest powers of the advocate. 

In politics he was a Whig and afterward a Republican. In private 
life he was a man of spotless reputation. He was a Christian gentleman 
and an earnest supporter 'of the benevolent and educational enterprises 
of his age. He died at his home near Lawrenceburgh, on a beautiful 
spot overlooking the Ohio, just forty years after his admission to the 
bar, September 23, 1872. An elegant and beautiful tribute to his mem- 
ory was given in an address at the coart house by Judge William S. 
Holman, from which most of the foregoing sketch has been obtained. 

EBENEZER DUMONT was the son of John and Julia L. Dumont, 
and was born in Vevay in 1814. At about the age of twenty-one he came 
to Dearborn County, and established himself in the practice of law. In 
1838 he was elected a member of the House of Representatives, and 
subsequently held the office of county treasurer. At the breaking-out of 
the Mexican war, he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Fourth 
Indiana Volunteers, and served with distinction for one year, participat- 
ing in the capture of Huamantla, the seige of Puebla, and numerous 
other engagements. Resuming the practice of law, in 1851 he was 
again elected to the House of Representatives, and was chosen speaker. 
In 1852 he was elected president of the State Bank of Indiana, which 
position he filled until the expiration of the charter of the bank in 1858 
or 1859. In connection with this office he was president of the board 
of sinking fund commissioners, which office he held at the breaking-out 
of the late war. On the organization of the Seventh Indiana Regiment 
he was appointed colonel, served with distinction during the three 
months' campaign, and upon the reorganization of the regiment for three 



years' service, was again selected for the satiie position. Soon after the 
battle of Greenbriar, he was commissioned brigadier-general, and assigned 
to Kentucky. His health being so poor as to disqualify him for service 
in the field, in 1862 he accepted the nomination of the Republican party 
of the Indianapolis District for Congress, and served two terms. A short 
time before his death he was appointed governor of Idaho. He died at 
his residence in Indianapolis, April 17, 1871. Gen. Dumont, as a law- 
yer, had few peers. Before a jury he was irresistible; happy in illus- 
trations, he brought the most elaborate arguments to the comprehension 
of the dullest mind. " With organizing genius, fertility of expedient 
and sleepless mental activity, Ebenezer Dumont was a lawyer, soldier 
and gentleman, whose fame will never equal the measure of his merit." 
GEN. BENJAMIN J. SPOONER was born at Mansfield, Ohio, October 
27, 1823, his parents coming from New Bedford, Mass. He was educated 
at public and private schools, and when eighteen years old apprenticed 
himself to learn the tanner's trade. At the breaking out of the Mexican 
war he enlisted for a year in Col. Lane's Indiana Regiment, and was a 
second lieutenant. He was at the battle of Buena Vista, but at the expi- 
ration of his term of service left the army, and returning to Indiana read 
law, and began its practice in Lawrenceburgh. He was made prosecu- 
ting attorney of the circuit, and took an active interest in politics as a 
Whig, and afterward as a Republican. On the breaking out of the civil 
war he was among the earliest volunteers, raising the first company in 
Dearborn County, and as lieutenant-colonel in the Seventh Indiana Reg- 
iment, he took part in the West Virginia campaign under Gen. Morris, 
where the first battles of the war were fought. He re- enlisted at the end 
of his three mouths' service, and was lieutenant-colonel of the Fifty- first 
Indiana under Col. Streight. His regiment, attached to the Twentieth 
brigade, was in winter quarters in Kentucky in 1861-62, and in the spring 
was attached to the Sixth Division of the Army of the Ohio, and took 
part in the battle of Pittsburgh Landing. Col. Spooner was with the 
army in the movements around Corinth, and after that resigned and 
came home. He then recruited the Eighty-third Regiment and was 
placed in command, taking part in all the engagements in and around 
Vicksburg, until the fall of that place in the summer of 1863, when, 
assigned to Gen. Sherman's army, he was at Chattanooga, Lookout Moun- 
tain, Resaca, Dallas, Dalton and Kenesaw Mountain. At the last named 
place, June 27, 1864, Gen. Spooner was wounded in the left arm so severely 
by sharpshooters that amputation was necessaiy. His wound unfitted 
him for active service, and in April, 1865, he resigned. He was imme- 
diately appointed United States Marshal for Indiana by President Lin- 
coln, the last appointment Mr. Lincoln made, and held that ofiice until 


1879, when he resigned. In the railroad strike of 1877, he was Urm in 
the discharge of his duty, and aided much in restoring order. During 
the war he was a brave soldier, and after the battle of Mission Eidge he 
was presented a handsome sword by the non-commissioned officers and 
privates of his regiment, in testimony of his services there and on other 
fields. He died at Lawrenceburgh April 8, 1881. 

JOHN SCHWAETZ was born in Bavaria in 1831 and received a classi- 
cal education. He participated in the Revolution of 1848 and was com- 
pelled to flee from his native land. He landed in New York in 1850, and 
on June 7, 1853, arrived at Lawrenceburgh. He first served as a clerk and 
book-keeper, and later studied law under James T. Brown. About 1858 
he formed a law partnership with Benjamin J. Spooner. For four years 
he was mayor, and for the same length of time city attorney. He enlisted 
in the civil war and served as captain one year. He was an extensive 
reader, and had a large and well assorted library of miscellaneous works, 
and the largest law library in the county. He possessed a fine legal 
mind of wonderful analytical power and scope, and was able to unravel 
the intricacies of the law with a facility seldom seen. He died at Law- 
renceburgh in 1881. 


Practice of Medicine in Pioneer Times— The Materia Medic a of the 
Early Doctors— Early Charges for Medical Services— District 
Medical Societies— Review of Epidemics— Character of the Pio- 
neer Physicians— Sketches of Some Deceased Physicians. 

OWING to a variety of causes we have found it a task of no small 
difficulty to prepare a history of the medical profession in Dear- 
born and Ohio Counties. We have not the data to be derived from the 
records of a medical society whose existence was continued through a 
long series of years. It is to be regi-etted that some one of the early 
physicians has not undertaken to give us an account of the pioneers of 
the medical profession in Dearborn County when that county 
embraced a large area of southeast Indiana. The pioneers of this pro- 
fession were worthy of a prominent place in the history of their county, 
and such sketches of these men as we have collected from many sources 


and here present in a permanent form, will be prized not only by the 
intellif^ent members of the medical profession but by others as well. If 
the pioneer physicians of this part of the Ohio Valley have left no rec- 
ords of their practice and experience, the failure should not surprise 
us. Generally they were not men of scientific attainmeots or even of 
liberal education. The state of society in which they lived could not be 
favorable to the cultivation of science or the literature of their profes- 

In order to realize the 'difficulties and disadvantages the early physi- 
cians labored under, it is necessary to cousider the times in which they 
lived. Dr. Daniel Drake, of^Cincinnati, in an address on "Early Medi- 
cal Times," delivered in 1852, has given a striking picture of the every- 
day life of the pioneer physician: 

"Every physician was then a country practitioner, and often rode 
twelve or fifteen miles on bridle paths to some isolated cabin. Occa- 
sional rides of twenty or even thirty miles were performed on horseback, 
over roads which no kind of carriage could travel over. The ordinary 
charc^e was 25 cents a mile, one half being deducted, and the other paid 
in provender for his horse or produce for his family. These pioneer 
physicians were moreover their own bleeders aud cuppers, and practiced 
dentistry, not less, certainly, than physic; charged a quarter of a dol- 
lar for extracting a single tooth, with an understood deduction if two or 
more were drawn at the same time. In plugging teeth tin-foil was used 
instead of gold-leaf, which had the advantage of not showing so con- 
spicuously. Still further, every physician for the first twelve or fifteen 
years was his own apothecary, and ordered little importations of cheap 
and inferior medicines by the dry goods merchants once a year, taking 
care to move in the matter long before they were needed. From twenty- 
five to thirty days was the required'time of transportation from Philadel- 
phia to Brownsville, and as much more by river to Cincinnati. Thus 
from four to five months were required for the importation of a medicine 
which, at this time, being ordered by telegraph and sent by express, may 
be received in two days, or a sixtieth part of the time. Thus science 
has lengthened seconds into minutes. The prices at which these medi- 
cines were sold difi'ered widely from those of the present day. Thus an 
emetic, a Dover's powder, a dose of Glauber's salt or a night draught of 
Pareo-oric and Antimonial Wine, haustus anodymis, as it was learnedly 
called, was put at 25 cents, a vermifuge or blister at 50, and an ounce of 
Peruvian bark at 75 cents for pale, and $1 for the best red or yellow. On 
the other hand personal services were valued very low. For a bleeding, 
25 cents; for a sitting up all night, $1, and for a visit, from 25 to 50 
cents, according to circumstances or character of the patient. 


Many articles in common use then have, in half a century, been 
superseded or fallen more or less into neglect. I can recollect balsam of 
sulphur, balsam of Peru, Glauber's salt, flowers of benzoin, Huxham's 
tincture, spermaceti (for internal use), melampodium, flowers of zinc, 
ammoniaret of copper, dragon's blood, elemi, gamboge, bitter apple, nux 
vomica, and red, pale and yellow bark. On the other hand, we have 
. gained since that day the various salts of quinine and morphine, strich- 
nine, creosote, iodine and its preparations, hydi'ocyanic acid, ergot, col- 
lodion, sulphate ot magnesia and chloroform. 

Indeed, in half a century our materia medica has undergone a decided 
change, partly by the discovery of new articles and partly by the extrac- 
tion of the active principles of the old. The physician often carried 
medicines in his pocket and dealt them out in the sick room; but the 
common practice was to return home, compound and send them out. But 
few of you have seen the genuine old doctor's shop of the last century, 
or regaled your olfactory nerves in the mingled odors which, like incense 
to the god of physic, rose from brown paper bundles, bottles stopped 
with worm-eaten corks, and open jars of ointment, not a whit behind 
those of the apothecary in the days of Solomon. Yet such a place is 
very well for a student ; however idle he will be always absorbing a little 
medicine, especially if he sleeps beneath the greasy counter." 


The first Legislature of the State of Indiana undertook to regulate 
the compensation of physicians for professional services, and to prevent 
over-charging. An act approved December 24, 1816, provides: "It 
shall not be lawful for any physician or surgeon to charge or receive 
more than 12^ cents per mile for every mile he shall travel in going to, 
and returning home from, the place of residence (for the time being) of 
his patient, with an addition of 100 per cent for traveling in the night." 

The following is a list of charges recommended by the Indiana State 
Medical Society held at Cory don December 11, 1822: 

Visit 25 cents toll 00 

Mileage ^ 25 

Venesection 25 cents to 50 

Pulv. Febr. 

6i " m 

Emetics 12| - 25 

Attendance through the day $2 50 to 5 00 

night 5 00 

Obstetrics 5 qq 

Extracting tooth 25 

Reducing luxation 5 qO to 10 00 

Amputation 30 00 to 50 00 



An effort to establish medical societies in the State by legislative 
enactment was made at an early period. Section 1 of act approved by 
Gov. Jennings December 24, 1816, reads: "Be it enacted by the Gen- 
eral Assembly of the State of Indiana, that for the purpose of regulat- 
ing the practice of physic and surgery in this State, each circuit as laid ' 
off for holding circuit courts shall compose one medical district, to be 
known as first, second and third medical districts in the State of 
Indiana, according to the name of the circuit." It was further provided 
in this act that in each district there should be a board of medical cen- 
sors, who were required to admit to merabftrship every physician or sur- 
geon residing or wishing to practice in the district, who should, " on 
examination before them, give proof of their qualification to practice 
either profession and reasonable evidence of their moral character." 

An act approved January 18, 1820, organized four medical districts, 
and gave the State Medical Society authority to establish as many addi- 
tional as it might deem expedient. 

The State Medical Society was first organized in 1820, and held its 
meetings at Corydon. then capital of the State, until 1826, when it met 
at Indianapolis. 

The act of 1816, above referred to, named as censors for the third 
district,- in which Dearborn County was included, Drs. Jabez Percival, 
D. F. Sackett, D. Oliver, John Howe and Ezra Ferris, and authorized 
them to meet at the house of Walter Armstrong, in the town of Law- 
renceburgh, on the fii'st Monday in June, in the year 1817, for the pur- 
pose of licensing physicians. Dr. Sackett, who was appointed a member 
of this board, then resided at Salisbury. No evidence has been found 
to show that this board of censors ever met to carry out the purposes for 
which they were appointed. 

An act of the Legislature, approved January 30, 1830, says in its pre- 
amble, that owing to defects in the previous law, the medical societies 
existing have never been legally organized, and that the provisions of the 
law have not induced a large portion of qualified men to become mem- 
bers of any medical society, or been sufficient to guard against the 
licensing of unqualified persons. The new act provided that district 
medical societies may be composed of all persons of good moral character 
residing in their respective districts, who have been regularly licensed to 
practice medicine in the State, or have been reputable practitioners in 
the State for two years next preceding the passage of the act, or who have 
graduated at any regular medical college in the United States. 



"The object of this paper is to put on record a brief review of the 
epidemics that have prevailed in southeastern Indiana, or more partic- 
ularly in Dearborn, Ripley and Ohio Counties, during the last fifty years, 
and also to direct your attention to the changes which have taken place 
in our endemic malarial diseases. Of several of the epidemics we allude 
to no notice has yet been published. 

"The first epidemic we direct your attention to was an epidemic of 
cholera in Dearborn County, which occurred in 1833. This was before 
I commenced the practice of medicine, but as the facts have never yet 
been published, and I have obtained them from a reliable source, and 
they are still remembered by many of our old citizens, I take the liberty 
of presenting them. 

"A steamboat ascending the Ohio River in the month of May, 1833, 
landed near the mouth of Tanner's Creek to bury one of the deck hands 
who had died of cholera. Two men, one an old citizen of Dearborn 
County, by the name of Page Cheek, were fishing near the place this 
boat landed. The officers of the boat, seeing these men, employed them 
to bury this body, which they did. All the next day Cheek, who lived 
near the mouth of Wilson's Creek, about a mile from Tanner's Creek, 
plowed in the corn-field, apparently well, but during the night he was 
suddenly attacked with cholera, and died after a short illness. His 
brother-in-law, Eli Green, went with his wife to the funeral. They re- 
sided near Hartford, about six miles from Cheek's residence. Within a 
week both Green and his wife died with cholera, and in a few days after 
their deaths three of their children also died, making five deaths out of 
this family of seven persons. The disease spread through the neighbor- 
hood, and soon appeared at Aurora, where a large number of deaths oc- 
curred, among the number some of the most prominent citizens. It is 
impossible now to ascertain the number of deaths which occurred, as no 
account of this epidemic in Dearborn County was ever published. The 
disease was regarded at that time as being new, and the epidemic as be- 
ing the most fatal that had ever visited this part of the country. 

"In 1838 the Laughery Valley was visited by a malignant form of 
malarial fever, different from anything that I have seen since, with the 
exception probably of a few sporadic cases. Intermittents were prevalent 
that autumn over the whole country, but along this valley we had a 
modification of remittent, with what we regarded at that time as con- 
gestive fever. The patient would be seized by a slight chill, followed 
almost immediately by profound coma or congestion of some organ, and 


very frequently died before a physician could be procured. In other 
cases the chill was followed by fever, delirium and great irritability of 
the stomach. There was generally in such cases a remission, but no well- 
marked intermission. The skin and conjunctiva assumed in a few days 
a yellowish or jaundiced appearance. These cases we regarded at that 
time as bilious remittent fever, but we probably had every form and type 
of malarial fever in this locality, such as simple intermittent fever, re- 
mittent fever, bilious fever, and pernicious or congestive fever ip various 
forms, and I think I can safely say that every family residing along this 
valley for eight miles from the Ohio River were more or less unwell, and 
in many families all were bedfast. 

"We have annually, at the present time, autumnal and intermittent 
fevers in various forms, but I never see now cases of pernicious con- 
gestive fever, or even bilious fever, similar to what we had at that period 
along the Laughery Valley. The country was then new, the land was 
exceedingly rich, there were extensive swamps and a dense forest, except 
around the log-cabins of the inhabitants. Since then the valley has been 
cleared, the swamps drained, and the land cultivated, and the congestive 
fevers, which were occasionally seen fifty years ago, have disappeared. 

"In 1842 and 1843 epidemic erysipelas prevailed indifferent parts of 
the United States. It made its appearance in southeastern Indiana in 
the winter of 1842 and 1843. It was known by the popular names of 
black tongue, sore throat, swelled head, etc. We heard of it prevailing 
in Ripley County as a malignant disease, and before it reached Aurora, 
in Dearborn County, we heard that a physician, who resided toward the 
western portion of the county, had died of the black tongue, The phy- 
sician residing at Wilmington had a severe attack. I was called to attend 
him, which placed at once a large number of his patients under my care, 
and I soon had extensive experience with the disease, which gave me an 
opportunity of seeing it in all its varieties. 

" In the month of July, 1843, after we*had seen notices in the news- 
papers that influenza was prevailing as an epidemic in Pennsylvania, 
New York, Massachusetts and other Eastern States, it suddenly made its 
appearance in southeastern Indiana, and within a few days after it first 
appeared a very large proportion of our inhabitants were under its influ- 
ence. The disease itself was seldom fatal, but it occasionally gave rise to 
other diseases which were attended with danger, and the origin of a 
number of cases of phthisis pulmonalis was attributed to this epidemic. 

"In 1848 we had a remarkable epidemic of scarlet fever. During the 
time that I had been practicing medicine I had had considerable exper- 
ience with scarlatina; the cases were generally mild with a few exceptions. 
This year, however, we saw the disease in a new form. We heard of its 


prevalence in Switzerland County, and were informed that a large num- 
ber of children had died from the disease. It was supposed to have been 
brought to Aurora by the boy who carried the mail, as he had but 
recently recovered from an attack of scarlatina. Two children were taken 
unwell on the same day; they resided in the same part of the town, but 
in different houses. They both died within a short time of each other, 
and the disease spread through the city. It presented a variety of 
symptoms. In some instances the violence of the disease was concen- 
trated upon the throat, in others upon the brain, producing convulsions 
or coma; in other cases the patient seemed to sink as if from a shock, 
and in other cases there was violent gastro-enteric irritation — vomiting 
aud purging, with but little rash. An account of this epidemic was pub- 
lished in the North American Medico- Chirurgical Review. 

" In 1856 scarlet fever again prevailed in southeastern Indiana and 
at Aurora as an epidemic, but this time in so mild a form as scarcely to 
require medical treatment. AVhy should the disease appear at the same 
place, apparently under the same circumstances, at one time in so 
malignant a type, and at another in so mild a form? 

"In the spring of 1849 cholera, which was prevailing as an epidemic 
in the United States, made its appearance in Aurora, and assumed its 
most malignant form. It for a time was principally confined to a small 
section of our town, including the portion in which I resided, which was 
the most dry and elevated, and was regarded as the most healthy part of 
our city. In this section of the town there seemed to be an accumulation 
of infection, for more than half the inhabitants died. I was suddenly 
attacked with the disease while attending patients in the night, and my 
whole family, one after another, was taken down. My eldest son died 
after only a few hours' illness, and my youngest child sank to what 
appeared the lowest stage of collapse from which a patient could recover. 
In watching the progress of this epidemic, it appeared to me that chol- 
era, like other diseases, presented a diversity of symptoms, and that the 
diarrhoea that generally accompanies this disease, and at that time was 
regarded as only a premonitory symptom, was in reality a form of chol- 
era, which occasionally gave rise to the most malignant cases. 

" Following the cholera a malignant form of dysentery prevailed as an 
epidemic. As it appeared in some instances to be intimately associated 
with cholera, appearing among our rural population immediately after 
the introduction of well-marked cases of cholera, I regarded it as but one 
of the modifications of this disease. We have never had an epidemic of 
contagious malignant dysentery similar to what we had at that time, 
except during or immediately after the prevalence of cholera. 

"Cholera pi'evailed as an epidemic in southeastern Indiana in 1854, 


1866 and 1873. There were not as many cases in these visitations as there 
were in 1849, which we thought was due to the rigid system of disinfec- 
tion which was adopted, particularly so in 1866 and 1873, and also to 
the patients being more isolated. 

" From 1836 to 1856 we occasionally had epidemics of a disease 
which was known in those days as milk sickness. This disease was con- 
fined to a section of Dearborn County, between six and seven miles in 
length and three or four in breadth, extending from what is known as 
King's Ridge in a southerly direction to near Hartford. This was prob- 
ably the most dry and elevated portion of Dearborn County, and that 
portion of the county most free from intermittent, remittent or malarial 
fevers. During these epidemics the cattle died in this [^locality with a 
disease known by the name of 'trembles.' Some farmers lost nearly all 
their stock. This sickness and loss of cattle caused a depreciation in the 
value of the farms in this section of the county. The premonitory 
symptoms of this disease were a remarkable feeling of lassitude, loss of 
appetite, headache, coated tongue, and a burning sensation in the epi- 
gastric region. After a variable period these symptoms were followed 
by nausea and frequent vomiting and a low grade of fever of a continuous 
type, and in all cases there was obstinate constipation. The fluid vom- 
ited was generally mucous, 'tinged of a dark or greenish color. There 
was seldom a well-marked chill, neither was there a well-marked 
intermission in the fever. The fever was nearly always of a low 
grade. I am well aware that writers have regarded milk sickness 
as only a modification of our malarial fevers, but it appears to 
me that this disease must arise from some cause entirely different 
from the malaria that produces our intermittent fevers, for in 
southeastern Indiana milk sickness occurred in that' portion of the 
country where malarial diseases were not known, while along the valley of 
the Laughery, where malarial diseases were the most malignant, milk 
sickness never occurred and the cattle did not die with the 'trembles.' 

" For the last twenty years I have not heard of a well-marked case of 
milk sickness in this section of the country where the disease was at one 
time so common, neither have I heard of cattle dying of the ' trembles.' 
The country has since been cleared, the ground cultivated, and milk 
sickness and the disease amongst the cattle known as ' trembles ' have 
entirely disappeared. The land which was once depreciated in value on 
account of these diseases, is now ranked amongst the most valuable in 
Dearborn County. This is additional evidence that the removal of the 
forests in many localities, so far from being an evil, is conducive to 

" It was many years after I commenced the practice of medicine before 


I saw a case of cerebro-spinal meningitis. Now we occasionally have 
cases, and the disease is probably on the increase. The same may be 
said of diphtheria. 

"In 1862 we had an epidemic of purpura, generally known by the 
name of spotted fever, in which there were a number of deaths. Some 
of the patients died within twenty-four hours from the first symptoms of 
the attack. 

"Within the last forty years we have had very remarkable diseases 
amongst the inferior animals. The epizootic amongst the swine, known 
as hog cholera, has destroyed thousands upon thousands of these animals. 
The epizootic amongst the horses in 1873, is so recent as to be familiar 
to all 

"Looking back then over a period of nearly fifty years, we have seen 
in southeastern Indiana a number of epidemics, and have seen our 
malarial diseases assume different forms and undergo very marked 


The earlier physicians who practiced in Dearborn County when it 
included several counties of the present time, were of the heroic school 
and made liberal use of the lancet and calomel. In their treatment they 
relied largely on purging, bleeding, blistering and salivation. The 
quantities of calomel used by some of the old physicians are sufficient to 
startle the modern scientific practitioner. 

While some of these earlier physicians were men of good natural 
abilities and were leading men in their communities, few of them had 
received a degree from a medical school or from any institution of 
learning. In their youth medical instruction was chiefly given in the 
irregular form of medical pupilage. In some sections a system of 
apprenticeship existed, the young medical pupil being indentured for a 
period from three to seven years. At the conclusion of the pupilage, 
the preceptor signed a certificate which supplied the place of a diploma 
As late as 1825 there were but two medical colleges west of the Alle- 
ghanies. During his pupilage the young medical student learned to 
compound medicines for his preceptor and to grind quicksilver into 
unguentum mercuriale, but the facilities for instruction were meager 
compared with those of the present day. There were few good medical 
libraries; periodical medical literature was in its infancy; work in the 
chemical laboratory was not expected of the student, and practical 
anatomy was made a felony by statute, the populace being inimical to 
dissection, a mob rising against it as late as 1820. 

DR. JABEZ PERCIVAL was born in 1759 and died in 1841. His 
former residence was near New Amsterdam, N. Y. Just what his early 


advantages were in obtaining a knowledge of his profession, the writer 
is not informed. He practiced medicine for some time previous to 
removing West. He came to Lawrenceburgh in 1801. The connty being 
new and sparsely settled, he practiced over a large extent of country. 
He was favored with an iron constitution and will. These sustained 
him in great exposure and labor, incident to the practice of medicine in 
that day. It is believed he did not refuse to attend to calls from any 
class of persons, night or day. He thought little of the ornate in his 
profession; the tastes of the fastidious were not much consulted in the 
administration of medicines. Adjuvants as placebos to remedies, in 
heroic practice, were not very numerous. Notwithstanding he was 
thought to be skillful; to have real merit as a physician and surgeon. 
He seemed to be quite at home' in surgery, if he did call the dura-mater 
the striffin of the brain, and, when he thought necessary, did not hesi- 
tate to perform even capital operations. He possessed many pe- 
culiar traits of character, and was a man of great courage as well as 
endurance. We here give several incidents as illustrations: At one 
time he was thrown from his horse, resulting in the dislocation of one 
hip-joint. Several persons gathered around, offering their assistance. 
He refused their help, crept to a fence and got upon his horse and rode 
home, without the reduction of the head of the femur. He was chosen, 
and for a time acted as magistrate. A Mr. , a man of great phys- 
ical power, often exhibited it in fighting with such as he supposed 
thought themselves his equal. Having broken the peace, the constable 
an3 by-standers were commanded to arrest him. They feared to take 
hold of the desperado. This did not suit the doctor-squire. He com- 
menced upon the refractory man, but as the Doctor advanced, he received 
a lick with a bludgeon that broke his right arm. Nothing daunted, 
though much the smaller man, he seized the culprit with his left hand, 
and held him until the sight of his heroism brought sufHcient assistance 
to secure him. Another incident: In the days when there were fugi- 
tives from labor, there were also cases of kidnapping. Several persons 
of African descent had been arrested and taken on a boat. Those who 
held them threatened to shoot any person who attempted their rescue. 
No one seemed willing to take the risk of interfering. The Doctor 
believed they were kidnapped, entered upon the boat and took them from 
their claimants. Another case of a different character, in the exercise of 
his official functions: At a time when engaged in driving oxen, a gen- 
tleman and lady rode up and informed the Squire that they desired to 
be married. He asked to see the license. Looking up, he inquired: 
"Do you promise to live together till death shall part you?" Answer, 
"Yes." "I pronounce you husband and wife. Gee, Buck; get up!" Dr. 


John Percival, son of Jabez Percival, had probably better opportunities 
for thorough medical education than his father. We are unable to say 
whether he was a graduate or not. One of his nephews, with whom we 
have spoken on the subject, thinks he was. He is said to have attended 
lectures at Troy, N. Y. He practiced medicine for some time in con- 
nection with Dr. Grubbs, at Burlington, Ky. He afterward moved to 
Lawrenceburgh in 1825. He continued here in reputable practice till 
about 1837. He moved to Missouri, and probably died about 1841, 
from injury to the spine, the efifects of a fall. 

DR. EZRA FERRIS was born at Stanwich, Conn., April 26,1783. His 
father, who was also a native of that village, six years after the birth of 
Ezra, determined to emigrate to the far West. The enterprise at that 
time was so novel and daring that it drew together a number of people 
to witness the departure. Dr. Ferris, in his old age, wrote that although 
he was only six years old at the time, he had a distinct and vivid recol- 
lection of the occasion. His father, September 20, 1789, with his 
family, and accompanied by two other families, took their departure. As 
the little party of emigrants took their seats in wagons and moved down 
the road, they were surrounded by a crowd on every side ready to pre- 
dict that they would either fall a sacrifice to savage cruelty or be 
drowned in descending the Western rivers. But nothing could overcome 
the courage of the little company. Their route was along the road on 
the north side of Long Island Sound to New York City, thence through 
New Jersey and Pennsylvania and over the Allegheny Mountains to the 
Monongahela River; thence, by boats to Fort Miami, about three-fourths 
of a mile below the mouth of the Little Miami, where they arrived 
December 12, 1789, having been two months and twenty days on the 
journey. There were, at that time, some thirty or forty families living 
in the fort, without the restraints of civil law and destitute of almost 
all kinds of provisions except such as could be obtained from the woods, 
in which hovered the hostile savages. An apartment in the fort, about 
sixteen feet square, was assigned to the family, in which they resided 
for a time. The first five years Ezra Ferris spent at Columbia were 
during the horrors of an Indian war. He saw the dejection of the 
spirits of the pioneers when Harmar's expedition failed and St. Clair 
was disastrously defeated, and participated in the rejoicing over Wayne's 
victory. He has given a vivid picture of the hardships and deprivations 
the settlers at Columbia were compelled to undergo during this period. 
"Many of them," he says, "had been raised in opulence and had in- 
dulged in luxuries and enjoyed all the necessaries of life, now removed 
far from their former homes, where nothing but the most common fare 
could be had, and that often in stinted measure, were cast down though 


not forsaken. Add to the want of bread, the mortification an Ameri- 
can mother (who had been at all times in the habit of clothing her chil- 
dren comfortably, and sometimes ornamenting them to please her fancy), 
must feel to see them clad in rags and dirt, for the want of materials to 
make new clothes of, or soap to wash them when dirty, and you will see 
enough to discourage and distress them." 

Ezra Ferris had the benefit of such schools as could be supported at 
Columbia during the Indian war, and after the return of peace, ob- 
tained a good education. When a young man he studied in a good 
school in one of the Eastern States, and his education was quite a liberal 
one for the son of an early western emigrant. When quite a young man 
he was licensed as a Baptist preacher at the Duck Creek Baptist Church 
and was afterward ordained. He also studied medicine. For some 
years he taught a school at Lebanon, Ohio, when he removed to Law- 
renceburgh and there practiced medicine and also preached to the desti- 
tute Baptist churches of that vicinity. He was elected a member of the 
convention which formed the first constitution of Indiana, and in that 
body was chairman of the committee on the elective franchise and elec- 
tions. He also served as a member of the State Legislature. On the 
organization of the State Government he was appointed by the Legisla- 
ture one of the censors for licensing physicians in the third medical 
district. Before he became an old man he retired from the active prac- 
tice of medicine, but continued his drug store. He also continued to 
preach at Lawrenceburgh and at Salera. 

Dr. Ferris was a most useful man. He was modest and retiring, but 
highly respected by all. He was sti-ongly attached to his own branch of 
the church and was a sincere and deeply pious man. In politics he was 
a Whig. He was a man of fixed principles and his friends always knew 
where to find him. In 1851 he published a series of articles on the 
early settlement of the Miami Valley. A. H. Dunlevy, in his History of 
the Miami Baptist Association, wrote: "Elder Ferris knew more of the 
early history of the Miami country than any man living at the time of 
his death. He was not a man to be prejudiced, as is too often the case, 
so as to form unjust opinions or give undue coloring to any transactions 
related by him." The reader will find in this work copious selections 
from his writings. Dr. Ferris was twice married. He died at Lawrence- 
burgh, April 19, 1857. 

DR. JEREMIAH H. BROWER was born in New York City in 1798. 
He was descended from one of those Dutch families that immigrated to the 
colony in an early period of its history, and aided in laying the founda- 
tions of its present greatness. His father was a physician, and educated 
his son for the profession of his choice. It is believed that for a year or 


more he enjoyed the superior advantages of the private tutelage of that 
eminent surgeon and physician, the elder Mot. In the year 1819 the 
family immigrated to the West, and settled in Indiana; the father, Abra- 
ham Brower, in Lawrenceburgh, and the son at Elizabethtown, Ohio, 
where they were respectively engaged in the practice of their profession. 
Dr. Jeremiah H. Brower assumed his field of labor, in which he continued 
in an active and exclusive practice until within a year or two of his 
death. The above dates show that Dr. Brower, for a period of thirty- 
five years, was in active and extensive practice in the city in which he 
died. To the practice of this profession he brought #more than an ordi- 
nary share of learning, zeal and native ability. As a man, a citizen, as a 
physician, in line, in all the relations of life he discharged his varied 
obligations to society in a manner creditable to himself and useful to the 
community in which he lived, so that himself and his friends could say 
without ostentation, that the world was better and wiser for his having 
lived in it. Commencing his professional life as early as 1819, he was 
closely identified in interest and community of feeling in all of the so- 
cial, moral and educational enterprises of the community, always a prom- 
inent and self-sacrificing laborer for their advancement, and his name 
and memory will be long held in grateful remembrance by the trusting 
and confiding community in which he lived and labored. His ardent 
patriotism and characteristic benevolence were illustrated in his readi- 
ness to abandon the comforts of home and a lucrative practice to hasten 
to the bloody battle-field, to the reeking and malarious hospital ship, to 
aid and comfort the brave and dying defenders of an imperiled country. 
Among the medical men of Indiana, with whom he had a large and inti- 
mate acquaintance, his abilities early pointed him out as a fit person to 
be honored with the presidency of the Indiana State Medical Society, a 
trust that he discharged with credit to himself and usefulness to the pro- 
fession. Dr. Brower's naturally feeble constitution at this period of life, 
was impaired by his visit and exposures in the South in 1865. He re- 
turned with greatly impaired health and strength to the duties of his 
practice, but his constitution had received a shock from which he never 
fully recovered. He died August 1, 1866, aged sixty-eight years, and 
was buried at Lawrenceburgh. 

DR. DAVID FISHEH was born in the State of Vermont about the 
year 1780. But little is known of his early education, or at what time he 
commenced the study of medicine, or whether he was a graduate of any 
medical college, but he acquired a good medical education and obtained 
a certificate of qualification from a medical board of examiners in Ver- 
mont and practiced his profession in that State until 1812. He then im- 
migrated to Peru, N. Y., and practiced his profession at that place until 


1818. He then removed to Coshocton, Ohio, and remained there a little 
over a year. He next immigrated to Wilmington, Jnd., and, a few years 
afterward, to Aurora. He was one of the company that purchased the 
ground and assisted in laying out the plat of the town of Aurora. He 
purchased Lots 153 and 154, on the corner of Fourth and Water Streets; 
here he erected what was considered in those days a large building, and 
kept a hotel. This was carried on in connection with the practice of his 
profession, which often extended for ten or twenty miles into the country. 
He resided in Aurora until about 1826 or 1828, when he removed to a 
farm back of Rising Sun. On this farm he resided, occasionally chang- 
ing his residence to Rising Sun, until 1845, when he was disabled by a 
stroke of apoplexy, which incapacitated him for the active duties of his 
profession. In January, 1851, he received another stroke of apoplexy, 
and died quietly at his home in Rising Sun. As a physician he was 
faithful; neither bad roads nor stormy weather kept him from visiting his 
patients. He was remarkable for the correctness of his diagnosis and 
was opposed to active depletion in the treatment of disease. As a man 
he was noted rather for strong natural sense than culture, yet he was 
always a diligent reader of standard medical books. He was a zealous 
member of a district medical society which had been organized in this 
portion of the State, and which continued in existence until about 1825. 
DR. MATHIAS HAINES was born in Raymond, N. H., Decem- 
ber 30, 1786. His earlier years were spent on a farm, during the 
summer months assisting his father. In the winter he attended the 
common schools. When near the age of manhood he obtained, by his 
own efforts, the advantages of a year or two at the academy in Peacham, 
Vt, after which he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Sheed, of 
Peacham, Vt. On completing the prescribed course of study, he com- 
menced the practice of his profession in the northern part of Vermont. 
In 1816, in company with his twin brother, he came West, riding all the 
way on horseback, and located in Rising Sun, which at that time was 
within the bounds of Dearborn County. Dr. Haines was a member of 
the society of Free Masons, and as early as 1819, in company with others, 
organized a lodge in Rising Sun, and continued an active member during 
his life. He married Miss Elizabeth Brower, at Lkwrenceburgh, October 
22, 1822. In the winter of 1845-46, he united with the Presbyterian 
Church of Rising Sun, and soon after was elected an elder, and as such 
frequently represented the church in the Presbyteries, and also as dele- 
gate of the Presbytery in the General Assembly of the United States. In 
the spring of 1846 from failing health and repeated and severe attacks 
of illness, he gave up the active duties of his profession and removed to 
a farm about two miles from the city, where he lived for six or seven 



years; he then sold his farm and removed back to Rising Sun, where he 
resided until his death, which occurred January 21, 1863, at the age 
of seventy-seven years and twenty-one days. Dr. Haines was active and 
liberal in promoting the intellectual improvement of the community. 
His efforts, in common with others, to advance the educational interests of 
the city, resulted in building a house for an academy which was popular 
and very successful for many years until superseded by our present system 
of common schools. Dr. Haines was an affable and courteous gentleman, 
a true Christian in every sense of the word, and for forty years enjoyed 
the confidence of the community in which he lived, as a safe and able 

DR. HENRY J. BOWERS was born in Massachusetts in 1801. His 
father was an Episcopal minister and gave his son a good English educa- 
tion. At the age of twenty he immigrated to Dearborn County, settled at 
Lawrenceburgh, and commenced the study of medicine. In 1822 he mar- 
ried Miss Rispah Morgan, at Lawrenceburgh. In 1824 he commenced the 
practice of his profession at Moore' s_Hill, and soon after bought a farm 
near this place, portions of which were in Dearborn and Ripley Counties, 
the farm being on the dividing line. His residence was in Ripley 
County and office in Dearborn. In 1856 he built a large residence near 
Moore'sHill, in Dearbord County, and resided at this home until his death, 
which occurred in January, 1866, aged sixty-five. He was elected a mem- 
ber of the Legislature in Ripley County in 1840, andre-elected twice, and 
was also elected twice to the Senate. In 1850 he was elected a member 
of the convention to revise the State constitution. He took great inter- 
est in the erection of the Moore's Hill College and was one of the prin- 
cipal stockholders in the building. Dr. Bowers was remarkable for his 
energy. He was a good political speaker, popular in his manners, and 
had an extensive practice both in Dearborn and Ripley Counties. 

DR. NELSON HORATIO TORBET was born in Pennsylvania in the 
year 1800. He studied the profession of medicine in Philadelphia and mi- 
grated directly from that city to Wilmington, Dearborn Co.,Ind. At this 
place he practiced his profession for more than forty years. He was pop- 
ular in his manners and was elected to the Legislature in 1834 — also was 
elected treasurer of the county in 1844. While on a visit to Kansas, in 
1873, he contracted diseases which terminated his life at the age of 
seventy- three. At one period he had an extensive practice, embracing a 
circuit of many miles over the rough country around Wilmington. He 
was a jovial companion and was always regarded as an honest man. 

DR. BASIL JAMES was born in Frederick County, Md., in 1797,canie 
to the West with his father's family in 1807, first stopping at Lawrence- 
burgh, but for educational purposes the family removed to Cincinnati 


and remained two years. In 1812, on account of Indian troubles, the 
family, excepting the father and his eldest sou, Pinkney, were taken to 
Louisville, Ky., for security, whore they remained until the fall of 1813, 
when all the family finally settled in Ohio County. Dr. James was 
identified with Rising Sun from its foundation, his father being one of 
the founders of the place. He practiced medicine here during all the 
active years of his life, giving up the profession only a few years before 
his death on account of age and feebleness. Paralysis came upon him 
about 1875, and although he recovered to some extent, yet he continued 
comparatively helpless, and died August 8, 1877. 

DR. ROBERT GILLESPIE was a native of Leith, Scotland, where he 
was born in 1793. He graduated at the University of Edinburgh, receiv- 
ing the degree of Ch. M. (Master of Surgery). In 1819 he immigrated to 
America and settled in Cass Township, Ohio County, then in Dearborn 
County, where he practiced medicine with success until his death. Dr. 
Gillespie's opportunities for medical instruction were much superior to 
those enjoyed by most of his associates. He was considered a leading 
physician and surgeon in Ohio and adjoining counties, and he enjoyed an 
enviable reputation both professionally and socially. He died in 1846. 
Dr. William Gillespie, of Rising Sun, is his son. 

DR. HUGH T. WILLIAMS was born in Breckinridge County, Ky., 
May 27, 1812, and was the son of Rev. Otho Williams. He graduated at 
the Louisville Medical Institute in 1842. He practiced medicine at 
Helena, Ark., until 1845, when he removed to Rising Sun, where he re- 
sided until his death, most of the time engaged in the active practice of 
medicine. His practice was large and lucrative. In the last years of his 
life he practiced his profession in connection with his son. Dr. Hugh 
D. Williams. He was largely identified with the growth and enterprise 
of Rising Sun, and was for many years a member of the council and 
school board. He represented Ohio and Switzerland Counties one term 
in the Legislature, and during the war was appointed by Gov. Morton 
draft commissioner and enrolling officer of Ohio County. He was a 
member of the Methodist Church, the Masonic fraternity and of the 
I. O. O. F. Dr. Williams was possessed of a strong mind and was a 
well-informed man. He died December 22, 1879, leaving an only son 
and a large number of relatives to mourn their loss. 

DR. MYRON H. HARDING was born August 7, 1810, in the town of 
Williamson, Ontario Co., N. Y., and was the second son of David Hard- 
ing, who in 1820 emigrated from New York to Ripley Couhty, Ind. 
Myron Holly Harding attended the pioneer schools of Ripley County, 
and worked at chopping, piling brush and burning log and brush piles, 
sometimes, on moonlight nights, working with his brothers in the clear- 


ing until a late hour. When eighteen years of age he became a school 
teacher and at the age of twenty entered upon the study of medicine 
under the tuition of Dr. Cornett,- of Versailles. After studying one 
year he successfully stood the examination before the Medical Society of 
Dearborn County. He then practiced as a licentiate until the year 1837, 
when he graduated at the Ohio Medical College. He subsequently 
located at Lawrenceburgh, where he continued in the successful practice 
of his profession until his last sickness. His practice was extensive, 
and his skill and learning _in his profession were never questioned. 
He was the author of some valuable articles in the medical journals. 
He served as president of the Indiana State Medical Society and of the 
Dearborn County Medical Society. He took a warm interest in the 
progress of medical science and was a member of the American Medical 
Association and an honorary member of the California State Medical 
Society. Dr. Harding was a remarkable man. First he was a man of 
one work, a faithful servant of the community in his profession. He 
was a most devout man, and faithful husband and father. His wife and 
children occupied the tenderest place in his affection, their adversity his 
sorrow, their prosperity his delight. He was a true citizen and unhesi- 
tatingly identified himself upon the side he thought best and right. A 
defender of all moral principles, you knew just where you would find 
him, because he was a man of clear convictions and had the courage of 
them. In the midst of all the activities of a courageous manhood, on 
the 5th of June, 1885, he was stricken with paralysis. He lingered on 
through the passing months until September 18, 1885, when his 
death occurred. His remains were interred in Greendale Cemetery at 
Lawrenceburgh. Such are the mere outlines of the life of a self-made 
and self-educated physician, whose indomitable will and unblemished 
moral character deserved the high success which crowned the career of 
Myron Holly Harding, M. D. In 1838 he was united in marriage to 
Lucy S. Plummer, who died in 1864 In 1865 he was joined in mar- 
riage to Mary A. Hill. To him, by his first marriage, were born six 
children, three now living — Isadora H. , Laura F. and David Arthur. 




Dearborn Gazette— Indiana Oracle— Indiana Oracle and 'Dearborn 
Gazette— Indiana Palladium— The Western Statesman— Politi- 
cal Beacon— Remarks on Milton Gregg and David V. Culley— 
Indiana Whig— Indiana Patriot— Dearborn County Register- 
Indiana Whig— Indiana Register— Democratic Register— Inde- 
pendent Press— Union Press— Lawrenceburgh Press— Remarks 
on 0. B. ToRBETT— The Rising Sun— Rising Sun Times— Rising Sun 
Times and Journal- Remarks on Isaac Stevens— Remarks on 
Alex E Glenn— Rising Sun Journal— Indiana Patriot— Dear- 
born County Register— Remarks on Elder William P. Stratton— 
Indiana Blade— Remarks on the Co vingtons— Indiana Whig- 
Remarks ON Robert T. Moore— Rising Sun Herald— Rising Sun 
Mirror- Hoosier Patriot— Indiana Republican— Xeutral Pen- 
ant— Weekly News— Indiana Weekly Visitor— The Hoosier 
Paper— Observer and Recorder- Recorder— Ohio County Re- 
corder—Rising SunRecorder— Saturday News— Rising Sun Local • 
—General Remarks. 

THE first newspaper published in Dearborn Connty was styled the 
Dearborn Gazette,\>\ih\\shed at Lawrenceburgh in 1817, by B. Brown, 
a Yankee; the office was in a little brick building owned by James 
Hamilton, located on the rear end of the lot on which is now known as 
the residence of Mr. John B. Vail. The motto of the paper was "Equal 
and exact justice." The printer of the establishment is remembered to 
have been Steele Sampson. 

We have before us Vol. I, No. 5, of the Indiana Oracle, which bears 
date of September 29, 1819, "printed and published every Wednesday 
morning by Dunn & Russell." The Oracle was a four column folio and 
in size about 18x10 inches. Just how long the Indiana Oracle vfas pub- 
lished by Messrs. Dunn & Russell we cannot say, but it was under their 
management at the close of the first volume, which was with the issue of 
October 3, 1820, when there was no indication of their withdrawal. The 
next record evidence we have is that No. 119, Vol. Ill of the Oracle appeai-s 
under date of September 21, 1822, "printed and published weekly by 
Dunn & M'Pike, which with issue of July 19, 1823, came out under the 
title of the Indiana Oracle and Dearborn Gazette, so it is likely that the 
Dearborn Gazette had been in existence during these years and at this 
time was consolidated with the Oracle. 


The successor to the Oracle and Gazette was the Indiana Palladium, 
the first number of which was issued Friday, January 7, 1825, 
printed and published by M. Gregg and D. V. Culley, being of the same 
size as all of its predecessors. The Palladium flew the motto "Equality 
of rights is nature's plan — And following nature is the March of Man." 
In the salutatory it was stated "We profess ourselves Republicans, 
warmly attached to the best interests of our country; and pledge our- 
selves to publish a paper founded upon purely Republican principles, 
uncontrolled by faction, and unbiased by party spirit. Divesting ourselves 
of everything like sectional partialities and local predjudices — our paper 
shall be devoted exclusively to the benefit of ourselves and the public in 
general. " * * 

Of the Palladium and the men connected with it, C. F. Clarkson 
wrote in 1883: 

•* The first permanent newspaper, from which there has been contin- 
uously a live paper issued, was started January 10, 1825, by Milton 
Gregg and David V. Culley, called the Indiana Palladium. They were 
both able writers and practical printers. The office was originally located 
in the second story of what was called fifty-five years ago the ' bank 
building,' being west of and adjoining the old residence of father Isaac 
Dunn. In the summer of 1829, the proprietors built a one-story office 
further east on the continuation of High Street, opposite the residence of 
that sturdy old citizen William Tate. They continued to publish the 
Palladium, making it a spirited and interesting paper, until September 
12, 1829, when owing to some unfortunate difficulties Mr. Gregg sold 
out to Mr. Culley, who continued to publish it until he was appointed to a 
position in the land office at Indianapolis, by President Jackson. Mr. 
Culley was a decided Democrat, while Milton Gregg was a National 
Republican, which was pi-evious to the day when, at the suggestion of 
James Watson Webb, the party took the name of W^hig. 

" The writer went into the Palladium office, September 21. 1828, as an 
apprentice, but retired from it with Mr. Gregg. So long as Gregg & 
Culley published the Palladium, it was independent in politics, but when 
Culley assumed entire control, it espoused the^cause of Jackson and De- 
mocracy. Mr. Gregg at once commenced preparations to start a National 
Republican paper, which he did in the second story over the old Ferris 
drug store, corner of High and Short Streets, then occupied by Prichard 
& Noble, for drugs. The paper was commenced March 10, 1830, and 
was called The Western Statesman. Previous to this time, there had 
been various vicissitudes with papers at Brookville, Ind., the last by Au- 
gustus Jocelyn. Gregg purchased of Mr. Joeelyn the Brookville printing 
materials. They were old and badly broken in sorts. Mr. Gregg sent a 


wild Hoosier teamster for the printing establishmjent, who laid a quilt on 
the floor and emptied all the cases on it — all sizes and varieties of types 
in one inglorious 'pi.' John W. Holland, who lived and flourished at 
Indianapolis long after, and if living yet, will vividly recollect aiding 
the writer in distributing the 'pi.' It took three weeks. C. F. Clark- 
son, who had commenced his apprenticeship with Gregg & Culley, finished 
it in the office of the Statesman. That was a hard time for newspapers. 
The people were poor, just opening their farms, and mail routes and post- 
offices scarce. A part of our apprenticeship was to ride horseback Friday 
and Saturday every week to distribute the papers to subscribers. The 
route was down by Aurora, Rising Sun, then north to Watts' Mill, then 
up by old Charles Dashiel's, around by Manchester, etc., home — leaving 
packages of papers in twenty or thirty places. Mr. Gregg continued to 
publish the Statesman but a few weeks by himself. He sold out a half 
interest on the 28th of April, 1830, to Thomas Dowling, an able writer 
and shrewd politican from Washington City, who had learned his trade 
and politics in the old National Intelligencer office. Dowling i became a 
prominent man in Indiana politics— standing high socially and finan- 
cially. He died a few years ago at Terre Haute. He Tylerized in 1842, 
and, as a consequence, got a fat Indian contract, which made him finan- 
cially comfortable for life. 

"Gregg & Dowling continued in partnership only till November 2, 
1830, when the latter retired and bought the Greensburg paper. At that 
time one A. F. Morrison was editor of the Democratic paper at Indian- 
apolis. He was considered the strongest political writer in the State, and 
the small fry of all parties, though not respecting, feared him. Dowling 
fearlessly bearded him. It was one of the fiercest and probably the 
ablest newspaper warfare ever waged in Indiana. 

"Mr. Gregg continued to publish the Statesman until the spring of 1831. 
John Spencer, who was then sheriff of Dearborn County, having been 
appointed receiver of public moneys at the land office at Fort Wayne, 
resigned the sheriff's office. At that time Noah Noble was governor of 
Indiana, and he appointed Milton Gregg sheriff. At that day public 
officers performed the duties of the office in person, instead of doing as 
now, having deputies to transact the business, while they smoke cigars, 
talk politics, and prepare for re-election, or to succeed to a better office. 
" Mr. Gregg being engrossed with the sheriff's office, in which there 
was more money than publishing a paper, abandoned the office entirely, 
yet in his name. He gave the editorial and mechanical department over 
to the writer hereof, then only twenty years of age. During the year I 
purchased it of Mr. Gregg, with the understanding that possession was 
to be given at the close of the newspaper year, which was March 8, 1832. 


I published the paper by myself until March 8, 1833, when I sold one- 
half to D. S. Major. In July, of the same year, the other half was sold 
to J. R. Smith, who was a worthless vagabond, and soon left for parts 
unknown. The paper then had a precarious existence for some time 
under Major's administration, who, as a lawyer, had enough to do without 
a newspaper." 

No. 1, Vol. II, of the Statesman was a five column folio and flew 
this motto, "The Constitution, Wisdom, Justice, Moderation," and was 
issued March 18, 1831, by Milton Gregg. 

Mr. Clax'kson, on assuming the management of the paper, in the pros ■ 
pectus said: "The great principles which this press shall maintain will 
be those of the Union, of the American system, and of internal improve- 
ments. * * * * It will support for the next Presi- 
dency, Henry Clay, of Kentucky, and for Vice-President John Sergeant, 
of Pennsylvania.'' For a time, in 1832, while Mr. Gregg was serving as 
sheriff, Judge Test edited the Statesman, and in an editorial said: "I 
have ever been, and always expect to be, the devoted (perhaps some will 
say the enthusiastic) advocate of those great national principles, sound 
principles of Union, of the American system, and of internal improve- 
ments, until maintained." Under date of March 15, 1833, Mr. Major 
set forth that he was opposed to the rights of secession. "That a State 
has a right to withdraw from the Union whenever she becomes dissatis- 
fied with any of the measures of the general Government, I cannot ad- 
mit. * * * J 1jq1(J that there is no such thing as State sov- 
ereignty, nor a sovereignty in the general Government. * * * 
For let the doctrine of nullification and secession once prevail, and all 
the wisdom, talent, zeal and patriotism in our government cannot save 
the Union. Like the pestilential blast, it will sweep over our land, and 
leave the dilapidated walls of the once-fair fabric of our Republican 
Government the blasted monumeirt of our folly." * * * 

With the issue of October 9, 1833, Mr. Major withdrew from the 
Statesman, leaving Mr. Smith the sole publisher until the following 

After the expiration of Mr. Gregg's term of oflfice as sherifi", he en- 
gaged for a time in flat-boating and trading on the river, but again re- 
turned to his profession, and, it is said, in 1837 began the publication 
in Lawrenceburgh of a paper entitled the Political Beacon. No. 1, of 
Volume III, bears the date of October 26, 1839. This paper he published 
until 1844, when he sold to Messrs. Dunn & Watts. On the 25th of 
January, 1840, said the editor of the Beacon: "Our banner is thrown 
to the breeze, on whose broad folds are inscribed the names of Harrison 
and Tyler, and in their cause, and for the interest of our common country, 


we shall expect to do battle in such a manaer as to prove to the 
world that we are no lukewarm politiciansi" Still later, in the cam- 
paign of 1840, appeared the following extract: "That we are zealous 
in politics, and ardently devoted to the success of Whig principles, we 
admit; but that we would attempt to carry our point by misi'epresenting 
facts to the prejudice of our political opponents, is a charge which we 
desire, at all times, indignantly to repel! — and no man shall lay it at 
our door with impunity. Our cause is founded upon the immutable 
principles of justice and truth; and upon this broad basis, and this alone, 
we desire to see it stand or fall, 'Truth is mighty and will prevail.' " 
From Lawrenceburgh Mr. G-regg went to Madison, and finally to New 
Albany, Ind., where he died some twelve or fifteen years ago. "He mar- 
ried, December 25, 1828, Miss Lucy B. Dennis, then one of the prettiest 
women I ever saw. They raised a model family of children, but parents 
and children are all dead, except the youngest daughter, who now lives 
in Des Moines, Iowa." 

David V. Culley died in Indianapolis in 1869; was born in Pennsyl- 
vania in 1804, receiving the greatest part of his schooling at or in the 
vicinity of Franklinton, where he also acquired the rudiments of his 
trade — printing. About 1821, he removed to Elizabethtown, Ky., where 
his father was residing, and where he finished his trade. Subsequently 
he was at Corydon and at Brookville, and in 1824 removed to Lawrence- 
burgh. Here he was married to a Miss Brown, and in 1825, in connec- 
tion with Milton Gregg, established the Indiana Palladium, but in time 
political differences separated them. Mr. Culley served in both branches 
of the General Assembly from Dearborn County, and in 1836 was made 
register of the land ofi&ce by Van Buren, removed to Indianapolis, and 
in 1851 served as president of the gas company. 

A paper styled the Indiana Whig was started in Lawrenceburgh in 
1834. No. 6 of Vol. I appeared under date of May 24, edited by John 
McPike. Nothing further that is definite of this paper have we been 
able to learn. 

John B. Hall, in September, 1839, succeeded Elder W. P. Stratton 
in the publication of the Rising Sun Journal, which paper, under date 
of October 10, 1840, appeared as the Indiana Patriot, in which Mr. 
Hall stated that he had sold the office to Mr. G. M. Childs, and discon- 
tinued the publication of the Journal. The Patriot was to be Whig in 
politics. December 5, 1840, Mr. Childs withdrew from the publication 
of the Patriot, and was succeeded by J. B. Kent. This office was 
removed to W^ilmington, and under date of March 27, 1841, appeared at 
Wilmington, Vol. I, No. 1, of the Dearborn County Register, neutral in 
politics, published by J. B. Kent. It has been stated in print that the 


Dearborn County Register was suspended at the end of the first year, 
and the office and fixtures sold to B. B. Root, who continued the publi- 
cation at Wilmington, of a paper styled the Indiana Whig, until 1844, 
when the office was removed to Lawrencebui'gh, where it was continued 
by B. B. Root and James S. Jelley until the close of that year, when it was 
suspended, and^the office and fixtures bought by John B. Hall, who, for 
the second time, began the publication of the Register. Again it has 
been stated that, in the fall of 1844, Mr. Root sold the Whig to Mr. 
John B. Hall. who changed the name to the Indiana Register, and in the 
following year moved the paper to Lawrenceburgh, and, purchasing the 
Political Beacon, consolidated the papers under the name of the Demo- 
cratic Register. In 1850 Mr. Hall sold the Register to George W. Lane, 
who, in 1851, sold it to Messrs. Oliver B. Tarbett and Charles C. Scott. 
These gentlemen continued to publish it two years, and, in 1853, sold it 
to Addison Bookwalter, who published it until in 1871 — his valedictory 
appearing in issue of January 6. Mr. Bookwalter's successor was 
Edward F. Sibley, who continued its publication until in 1877 — his val- 
edictory appearing under date of Max'ch 8. In the same issue ap- 
peared the salutatory of the Democratic Register Printing Company. 
On the 29th of March, of the same year, appeared the valedictory of 
J. H. Burkam and the salutatory of W. D. H. Hunter and W. H. 
O'Brien, who have since conducted the paper. From the foregoing it is 
seen that the Democratic Register is the lineal successor of the Dear- 
born County Register, established at Wilmington in 1841. Mr. Ben- 
jamin V. Gould, now foreman in the printing department of the Register 
office, seems almost a part of the establishment, in as much as he entered 
the office as an apprentice in 1856, and with the exception of a short 
period, has been identified with the printing of the Register as foreman 
through that long period of years. 

October 18, 1850, was issued the first number of a newspaper in Law- 
renceburgh, styled the Independent Press, published by H. L. Brown 
and James E, Goble, and edited by O. B. Torbett. The Press was a 
seven column folio. August 22, 1851, the Press was sold to Rev. W. W. 
Hibben, who, on the 9th of |June, 1852, associated with him J. P. 
Chew, a pi-actical printer and foreman of the office, as assistant editor. 
On the 20th of October following, Mr. Chew became the proprietor and 
editor of the paper, and conducted t until April 12, 1856, when he sold 
to E. F. Sibley, then publishing the Aurora Standard, who combined 
the two papers, which were suspended in 1857. 

For several years following 1857, with, perhaps, a short interim, a 
Republican paper continued to be issued at Lawrenceburgh, with differ- 
ent persons at its head, among whom were R. D. Brown, and Thompson 


Brothers. Within a period of five years subsequent to 1856, the paper 
had five different publishers, and was suspended as many times. June 
8, 1864, appeared the first issue of the Union Press, a six-column folio, 
published by Lyman Knapp. The Press firmly adhered to the cause of 
the North and supported the Union, urging a vigorous prosecution of the 
war and the abolition of slavery. July 4, 1867, the name of the paper 
was changed to the Lawrenceburgh Press. Mr. Knapp in a short time 
was succeeded by J. P. Chew, in the publication of the Press, who had 
been, with the exception of about five years, identified with the Repub- 
lican organ of the county as publisher and editor, since 1852. Mr. Chew 
continued to conduct the Press until June 27, 1878, when he sold the 
paper to James E. Larimer, who has since published and edited the 
same. Mr. Samuel Chapman, now a job printer of the city, was, for 
some eighteen years prior to Mi*. Chew's withdrawal from the Press, asso- 
ciated with the printing department of the office in the relation of fore- 
man and manager. The Press is the Republican organ of the county, 
and, as will be seen from what has been said above, is the direct succes- 
sor of the Independent Press established in 1850. Mr. Torbett, whose 
name is connected with the history of the Press, died in Indianapolis in 
1864. He commenced the practice of the law in Lawrenceburgh about 
1848; was for a time connected with the Press, and subsequently with 
the Register. Iq 1849-50, he served from this county in the State Leg- 
islature, and was speaker of the House; was a talented man, the young- 
est in that body. 

The first newspaper published in Aurora was the Indiana Signal, 
the first number of which made its appearance in August, 1836, edited 
by L. C. Hastings. In politics the Signal was Democratic, and was dis- 
continued after the presidential campaign of that year. 

In 1839 a paper was established at Aurora entitled the Dearborn 
Democrat, by the Aurora Printing Company, edited by Alexander E. 
Glenn, which was continued during the exciting canvass of 1840, then 
removed to Lawrenceburgh and published by C. W. Hutchins. For sev- 
eral years following the removal of the Democrat, Aurora was without a 

The Western Republican was started at Lawrenceburgh by Nimrod 
Lancaster in 1846, and in the fall of 1847 it was removed to Aurora. It 
was started as an independent paper, Vol. II, No. 32, appeared under date 
of November 22, 1847, published at Aurora by John B. Hall and Nimrod 
Lancaster, supporting Taylor. In 1848, the Republican became the 
property of Folbre & Co. The Wester7i Commercial was started in Aurora 
in 1848, by N. W. Folbre and W. H. Murphy, Vol. I, No. 11, bearing date 
of February 10, 1849. The Commercial was neutral in politics and 


religion, and continued to be published and edited by Mr. Folbre until 
on the 22d of May, 1851, when he retired and was succeeded by Messrs. 
Root & Bowers. That year (1851) these gentlemen established the Aurora 
Standard, a Whig paper. These gentlemen continued the publication 
six months, and for six months longer the Standard was published by 
Mr. Bowers alone, when, in 1852, E. F. Sibley, then foreman in the 
office, purchased an interest in the paper, and continued in its publica- 
tion until the paper was suspended in 1857. 

The Independent Banner was started at Aurora, in 1852, by N. D. 
Folbre, the first issue appearing August 12. Mr. Folbre remained the 
editor and publisher of the Banner until his death, which occurred 
March 3, 1854. The publication ceased with the paper of March 8, 
1854. Mr. Folbre was born in Ohio in 1824, and, with his parents, 
located in Aui'ora in 1826. In 1836 he entered the Signal office in Aurora 
to learn his trade. From 1838 until 1845 he was employed in the office 
of the Political Beacon at Lawrenceburgh, where he remained until 
1845, when the press changed hands, and our subject controlled the 
printing department. Later he was in the office of the Western Repub- 
lican, printed at Lawrenceburgh by Mr. Lancaster, and when the office 
was moved to Aurora in 1847, Mr. F. returned with it. 

In 1859 W. H. Nelson established a paper at Aurora called the Aurora 
Commercial, which continued to be published by him until some time in 
the early part of 1861, when it was suspended. That fall the paper was 
revived by E. F. Sibley, and successfully conducted by him until 1868, 
when the establishment was sold to John Cobb. 

September 13, 1868, appeared the first number of a paper styled the 
Peoples' Advocate, published at Aurora by E. F. Sibley, which was con- 
tinued by that gentleman until 1871. 

July, 1868, there was established at Aurora by a joint stock company 
of twenty-four members, who had pui'chased the press and printing 
material of the Auroi-a Commercial, a paper called the Dearborn Inde- 
pendent, an independent Republican newspaper. Up to February, 1869, 
this paper was edited and published by J. W. McDonald & T. J. Cobb. 
At this time Mr.'McDonald retired and left the management and editing of 
the paper to Mr. Cobb, who, in April, 1873, sold the Independent to L. 
W. Cobb, who has since conducted the paper as proprietor and editor. 
Under the present management the paper has been conducted as independ- 
ent in politics. 

The Aurora Spectator, a neat and newsy weekly newspaper, was 
started some years since by James Everett, a native of Illinois, but for 
ten years past a resident of Aurora. In 1882 he accepted, as a partner, 
Frank Gregory, a native 'of Rising Sun. Messrs. Everett & Gregory 


have both been connected with the printing business from boyhood, and 
are achieving an encouraging success with their enterprise in Aurora. 

Two and fifty years ago occurred the birth of the first newspaper 
published in Rising Sun, then a village of Dearborn County. The 
paper was styled the Rising Surij the first issue of which appeared under 
date of November 16, 1833, printed and published by Isaac Stevens & 
Co., the Company being Eldridge G. Brown, a steamboat captain. In 
size, the Rising Sun was 18x11^ inches, a five column folio. It was not 
designed as a political paper, "reserving to our individual self the right 
to speak and think, we shall ever in our editorial capacity avoid all 
partyism and political controversies, while at the same time, in regard 
to the general movements of the Government we shall endeavor to give 
a plain and unvarnished tale, and leave our readers upon this subject to 
ponder and determine for themselves.'' With the issue of May 17, 
1834, the name of the paper was changed to the Rising Swn Times, 
published by Stevens & Glenn. The Times was neutral in politics and 
continued to be published by Stevens & Glenn until November 8, 1834, 
when Mr. Stevens sold to Mr. Glenn who continued its publication until 
1837 or 1838; the last number we were able to find appeared under date 
of September 16, 1837. On the 18th of February, 1837 or some time 
prior thereto, the name of the paper was changed to the Rising Sun 
Times and Farmers* Journal, and with that issue began the paper, a 
political one, pledging itself to support the administration of Martin 
Van Buren. 

Isaac Stevens was born in the city of New York, in 1811, and in 
1815 with his parents removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where, at the age 
of fifteen, he was apprenticed to the printing business, serving six years, 
thence coming from the ofiice of the Cincinnati Gazette in 1833, to 
Rising Sun. In the fall of 1836 he removed to Vevay, and there com- 
menced the publication of a weekly newspaper, which business he 
continued in with the intermission of about two years, until 1857, tnen 
engaged in different branches of mercantile business until his death, 
which occurred in 1877. 

Alexander E. Glenn was a man of considerable ability, and after 
leaving Rising Sun went to Aurora, where he was connected with the 
publication of a paper. In 1836 he represented Dearborn County in the 
Legislature, and in 1841 he returned to the city of Columbus, Ohio, 
taking the foremanship of the State Journal office. In 1853 he com- 
menced the publication of the Ark, an Odd Fellows' Journal, which he 
edited for fifteen years. His death occurred at Columbus, Ohio, in 

Vol. I, No. 1, of the Rising Sun Journal, a five column folio sheet, 


neutral in politics, was issued September 12, 1838, edited and published 
by William P. Stratton, who retired from the paper September 7, 1839, 
and was succeeded by John B. Hall, whose name appeared in connection 
with the paper September 21st of that year. The paper appeared under 
date of October 10, 1840, as the Indiana Patriot, being a six column 
folio, stamped as Vol I, No. 1, in which issue Mr. Hall stated that he 
had sold his printing office to G. M. Child, and discontinued the publi- 
cation of the Rising Sun Journal. The Patriot was to be Whig in poli- 
tics. With the issue of December 5, 1840, Mr. Childs withdrew and J. 
B. Kent became the proprietor. The last issue of this paper at our 
command appeared October 9, 1841. The office was removed to Wil- 
mington, and under date of March 27, 1841, appeared at Wilmington, 
Vol. I, No. 1, of the Dearborn County Register, neutral in politics, 
published by J. B. Kent. At the end of two years Mr. Hall again 
bought the office and published the first Cass paper in Indiana. After 
the division of Dearborn County and the removal of the county seat to 
Lawrenceburgh, Mr. Hall removed the office to that place, carrying it on 
until he sold out to George W. Lane in 1852, after which Mr. Hall 
went to Evansville, where he published for several years the Evansville 
Enquirer. In 1876 he was still connected with the press of that city. 

Elder William P. Stratton, whose name is mentioned above in con- 
nection with the press of the county, was, while publishing the paper, 
pastor of the Christian Churches at Rising Sun, Ind., Petersburgh and 
Burlington, Ky. He was a practical printer, and though for forty years 
a preacher, had by secular pursuits supported himself and family. His 
death occurred in Cincinnati, in 1883, aged seventy-five years. In that 
city he held many positions of honor and trust. He baptized over 1,000 
persons, officiated at over 2,000 funerals and married over 2.000 couples. 

March 25, 1843, S. F. Covington issued the first number of a paper, 
styled the Indiana Blade, which was established for the purpose of se- 
curing the division of Dearborn County, and the location of a county 
seat at Rising Sun. An effort of this kind had been made at regular in- 
tervals for a number of years, but had always proven unsuccessful. On 
this occasion, however, the friends of the measure succeeded in electing 
George P. Buell to the Senate, and Col. Pinkney James, David Macy and 
Richard Spicknell to the House, who procured the passage of a law di- 
viding Dearboru County, and creating the new county of Ohio. Febru- 
ary 22, 1845, Mr. Covington associated with him his brother, John B. , 
and August 23 of that year, S. F. Covington transferred the paper to 
hisjbrother, John B. Covington, and took charge of the Madison Courier. 
In 1846 he returned and united with his bi'other in the publication, and 
continued until January, 1848. when he purchased the Madison Courier 


and again took charge of that paper. John B. Covington continued in 
charge at Rising Sun. March 11, 1848, John B. Covington sold the 
Blade to Amor & Jennison, and joined his brother at Madison in the 
Courier. In July, 1849, they sold the Courier to M. C. Garber. 

S. F. Covington went into the insurance business, and for many years 
was connected with the Indianapolis and Rising Sun Insurance Companies, 
having charge of the office of the Indianapolis company in that city. After- 
ward he went to Cincinnati and became secretary of the Globe Insurance 
Company, and is now its president. He has served as president of the Cin- 
cinnati Chamber of Commerce, and is one of the best posted and most 
reliable and trustworthy commercial men in that city. John B. Coving- 
ton became secretary of the Rising Sun Insurance Company, and acted 
in that capacity for several years; was engaged also in trading in produce, 
and has now retired to a rural home half a mile below Rising Sun. 

With the issue of June 3, 1848, George Amor was succeeded in the 
publication of the Blade by R. P. Moore, the paper to be conducted in 
the future under the title of the Indiana Whig, by Messrs Moore & Jen- 
nison; Vol. I, No. 1, of which appeared June 17, 1848. In the salu- 
tatory it was stated that the Wliig would support Taylor and Filmore. 
" Fully persuaded of the importance of the approaching campaign, the 
interest already manifested by the Whigs of this representative district, 
and the importance of a Whig paper at this point, has alone induced the 
proprietors to embark in this new enterprise. With no encouragement 
but the efficacy of our principles, and the ultimate good which must nec- 
essarily flow from a proper promulgation of those principles, has in- 
duced us to launch our frail bark on the broad and boundless ocean of 
political warfare, and meet the enemy 'face to face' in open combat. 

" The Democratic nominations are already made; the party drill of 
the 'opposition' has commenced; the tocsin has been sounded, and they 
are daily girding on their armor preparing for the conflict. It behooves 
us, then, as W^higs, to meet them. Therefore it is necessary we should 
have some medium through which to defend ourselves. We intend the 
Whig to be that medium; and in order to more fully disseminate the 
Republican principles of the great Whig party, we ask the Whigs of the 
district to aid us, and we will spare no pains to render the Whig worthy 
of their support. In fact, we intend making the Whig a political paper, 
giving 'measures, not men,' our preference. 

" We are now on the eve of an important political campaign, one, 
too, fraught with more interest and magnitude than any preceding one. 
The trying issue has come. One more universal rally is necessary. With 
the spirit of 1840 breathing in every patriotic Whig breast, and the inter- 
ests of our common country at stake, we can, by a strong pull, and a long 


pull, and a pull altogether, redeem the Whig party^from the thraldom in 
which it was so unexpectedly thrown in 1844. " * * * * 

Mr Jennison was associated with the publication of the Whig but a 
short time, when the paper was conducted by Mr. Moore (Robert T.) 
alone. The latter was a sharp writer, a little rough and decidedly pur- 
sonal, and had several street difficulties. In point of ability the Whig 
ranked among the first papers of the State. Its editor defended and sup- 
ported with noted talent the cause he espoused, doing himself credit and 
exercising no little influence by the bold and independent course he pur- 
sued. Under Taylor Mr. Moore became postmaster of Rising Sun; sub- 
sequently read law and was admitted to the bar; served as prosecuting 
attorney over this judicial district; removed to Cincinnati, where he died 
September 13, 1854, at the early age of twenty-eight years. 

The office of the Whig was sold to W. T. Pepper, who issued under 
date of August 24, 1850, No. 1, Vol. I, of a paper styled the Rising Sun 
Herald, to be neutral in politics. 

Vol. I, No. 1, of the Rising Sun Mirror was issued November 24, 
1849, by John H Scott, which March 13, 1851, was consolidated with the 
Herald, to be neutral in politics, as each of those papers had been; the new 
paper to be edited by Mr. Pepper and published by Charles Scott. This pa- 
per was shortlived, we judge, for in September, 1852, Mr. Pepper issued No. 
1, Vol. I, of a paper under the title of the Hoosier Patriot, Democratic 
in politics. The Patriot was published but a short time. 

Vol. I, No. 1 of the Indiana Repahlican appeared in Risino- Sun 
August 30, 1851, under the proprietorship of Hayden & Gregory. It 
claimed to be Republican in politics, of the same school of Adams, Clay 
and Webster, and supported Fillmore for the presidency. September 20, 
1851, Mr. Hayden withdrew from the paper and was succeeded by Will- 
iam French, who in connection with Mr. Gregory published the paper 
until December 11, 1852, when Mr. French became sole pi'oprietor. Jan- 
uary 1, 1853, H. C. Craft became associated with Mr. French in the 
publication of ih.Q Republican, the last number of which was issued April 
22, 1854, and the paper was then removed to Jeflfersonville, Ind. 

The Neutral Penant made its appearance in Rising Sun, October 13, 
1853, published by H. C. Craft; and the Weekly News, Vol. I, No. 2, ap- 
peai'ed under date of March 3, 1854, by Charles Scott. The latter not 
long after this removed his office to Vevay. 

May 6, 1854, was issued No. 1, Vol. I, of the Indiana Weekly Visi- 
tor, published by William H. Gregory, in the publication of which he 
continued until in 1859. Under date of November 7, 1857, under the 
head " Last of Republicanism," the editor observed: 

" The career of Republicanism has been run — the yearling is dead. 


The coup de grace has been administered in the State of Ohio— its only 
western stronghold — and it now lives only on its death bed in New York 
and New England. During its life it was, without intending it, a great 
ally to "the Democracy," for it elected Buchanan, when Fillmore alone 
could have defeated him; and a Congress, elected two years ago "Ameri- 
can," it converted afterward into " Republican," to be succeeded, as it 
was certain to be, under such a wrongful conversion, by a Congress 

"We were accustomed a year since to speak of the Freemont movement 
as a passion, an excitement and a fever, which was as certain to die out 
in a twelvemonth, as night and day were certain to succeed each other. 
We were very much abused then for the prediction, but time has proved 
it true." * * * How soon the resurrection, and what a 

grand life! 

Under the head "Obituary" appeared the following notice of this paper 
in the Hoosier Paper oi. March 5, 1864: "Died on Saturday morning, Feb- 
ruary 20, 1864, after an illness of several months, the Aurora Rising Sun 
Visitor, in the ninth year of its age. Requiescat in pace. 

"Little did we imagine, when we came to Rising Sun to publish the 
Hoosier Paper, that we would so soon be called upon to record the 
detnise of this time-honored and valuable institution, which, with an 
intermission of a few months, continued to exist for nearly nine years. 
The publication of the Visitor was commenced by the late William H. 
Gregory, in the year 1855, if we recollect aright, and continued by him 
several years. During his administration, the Visitor was looked upon 
as one of the ablest papers in the State; but, after continuing the publi- 
cation of the paper for about four years, he was compelled, on account 
of bad health, to retire from business. Mr. Gregory disposed of the 
office to Judge J. J. Hayden, then residing in this city, who published 
the paper about twelve months and then sold out to Mr. D. G. Rabb, 
and Mr. John W. Rabb took hold of the paper and published it through 
the presidential campaign ]of 1860, and^ up to the breaking out of the 
Rebellion. In April, 1861, Mr. Rabb recruited a company of troops 
under the call of the President for 75,000 men for three months' service, 
and went with the Seventh Indiana Regiment, leaving the Visitor in 
charge of a publisher. When the call was made for three years' troops, 
the said publisher left it in the hands of another 'publisher,' who 'run' 
it about one month, and then let it fizzle. After a lapse of several 
months, the concern was revived by Messrs. Frank Gregory & Co. (Mr. 
Ed F. Sibley), of the Aurora Commercial. For about a year the paper 
was published regularly 'every Saturday morning,' the first and fourth 
pages being printed at Aurora. Finally, Messrs. F. G. & Co. sold the 


material, with which the second and third pages had been printed, to a 
firm in Ripley County, and thereafter the arduous task of printing the 
Visitor was performed at the Commercial office in Aurora, the work being 
expedited by transferring matter from the columns of the Commercial 
to those of the Visitor, and filling the fourth page, and a large portion 
of the other three pages with Aurora advertisements. From the time of 
the transfer of the concern from Rising Sun to Aurora, the people lost 
interest in it, and the aforesaid valuable(?) institution continued to 
grow gradually weaker and to struggle hard for existence; but finally, 
without a cry or a groan— it being so weak it couldn't groan — it suc- 
cumbed and went 'the way of all flesh.' Such is the short but brilliant 
history of the Aurora Rising Sun Visitor. Again we exclaim, 'Peace to 
its ashes.'" 

The Hoosier Paper was started in Rising Sun February 20, 1864, by 
John P. Lemon and D. B. Hall (the latter is now the publisher of the 
Rising Sun Local), which gentlemen continued its publication until in 
the following August, when Mr. Hall went into the United States serv- 
ice, and Mr. Lemon continued the publication of the Hoosier until the 
February following, when he sold to Mr. J. E. D. Ward. The follow- 
ing is extracted from the salutatory of the Hoosier: "Politically, our 
paper will support the present administration in all its acts in the con- 
duct of the war. * * * "VVe know no difference between a traitor in 
arms and a traitor at heart, and think they should be served the same 
way — hanged as high as Haman. While our brave soldiers are fighting 
the enemy, we deem it our duty to fight them at home and we shall do 
so to the last extremity. We do not want to see this war end unless it 
be with honor to the North. Just so soon as Jeff Davis & Co. come to 
see 'the error of their ways,' and come back under the shadow of the 
old stars and stripes, in obedience to the Constitution and laws of the 
country, or the whole race of rebels is exterminated and our armies and 
navies have encompassed their territory, then we are for peace — not be- 

On the 11th of March, 1865, Mr. J. Edwin Donelson Ward issued 
No. 1, Vol. I,' of the Observer and Recorder, whose political complexion 
was purely loyal, conforming to the views and doctrines of the Repub- 
lican or Union party, "to support the Government in all of its measures 
to put down the Rebellion." Mr. Ward continued to publish the paper 
until in 1866, retiring July 14, and on the 21st of that month and 
year Messrs. Frank Gregory and Charles Beat}'^ took possession and 
issued the Recorder, which gentlemen set forth in their salutatory that it 
was their intention to publish an independent newspaper, devoted to 
the interests of Ohio County and Rising Sun. On the 12th of January, 

1 1 


1867, the name of the paper was changed to the Ohio Comity Recorder. 
With the issue of the paper bearing date of September 26, 1868. Mr, 
Beaty retires and the Recorder is published by Mr. Gregory until June 
2, 1873, when the paper was sold to the present proprietor, Frederick J. 
Waldo, who June 7, 1873, seat the paper out a quarto, six columns, 
independent in politics but not neutral. The paper is now published 
under the name of the Rising Sun Recorder, and is Republican in 

October 17, 1874, D. W. Calvert commenced the publication of a 
paper in Rising Sun styled the Saturday News, independent in politics. 
The News was continued in Rising Sun under the same proprietorship 
uutil in the spring of 1878, when the office was removed to Aurora and 
the paper there published under the same management, though changed 
in politics to a Democratic paper until the spring of 1881, when its pub- 
lication was discontinued. 

Vol. I, No. 1, of a weekly paper styled the Rising Sun Local, a six 
column folio independent in politics, published by Banner Hall, made 
its appearance in Rising Sun July 26, 1879, with Murray T. Williams 
as local editor. The Local has continued under the same name and 
proprietorship, though several times enlarged and otherwise improved 
from the beginning. It is now Republican in politics, and Mr. Hall, 
the editor, is still assisted by Mr. Williams. The LocaZ, since November 
13, 1880 an eight column folio, is a live and interesting sheet. 

The Rising Sun Herald is the name oE a weekly penny paper estab- 
lished in the city in 1884, by Master Frank Downey, who is both editor 
and publisher. The Herald is printed on a sheet about 7x10 inches, and 
is a spicy little paper devoted to the best interests of the general public. 
Vol. I, No. 46, of the Herald bears date of February 20, 1885. Giving 
our prediction for what it is worth, founded on our observations of the 
conduct of the " Liliputian," we judge our young friend (if he contin- 
ues to see in person to the prompt delivery of the Herald of a February 
morning, with the mercury ranging from 15° to 20° below zero, the Ohio 
River almost frozen over, with the city itself frozen up, before one has a 
fire or his breakfast, as the writer experienced last winter), will rise to the 
foremost rank of his profession. 

The printing offices of to-day throughout Dearborn and Ohio Counties 
are well equipped with presses of modern make and with improved facil- 
ities for the dispatch of all kinds of job work, and the men engaged in 
the conduct of the several newspapers are men of ability and well quali- 
fied for the profession, and are endeavoring to advocate such measures 
as are in the line of progress and advancement ennobling to man, and 
are for the best interests of the public generally. The men conducting 


party papers are, generally, of strong political convictions, and are not 
silent on political questions, but are ever on the alert in the furtherance 
of the principles of the party to which they are attached. Biographies 
of the members of the press will be found in the biographical depart- 
ment of this work. 


Climate of the Ohio Valley— Conditions Favorable to a Great 
Flood— The Flood of 1788-89— 1832— 184?— 1882— 1883— 1884— Disas- 
trous Effects at Lawrenceburgh— Relief for Sufferers- 
Table of High-water Marks at Cincinnatl 

AN account of the most disastrous floods of the Ohio River will be 
given in this chapter in the order of their occurrence. 

The Ohio Valley is subject to greater vicissitudes of climate, perhaps, 
than any other part of the world of like proportions. A change within 
forty days has been experienced from a temperature 20° below zero to 
65° above— the cold of Canada and the warmth of the Gulf in the same 
winter. The conditions favorable for a destructive flood in the Ohio are 
a frozen ground throughout the immense region drained by the river, a 
thick covering of snow spread over fields and forests and accumulated in 
immense snow-banks in the mountains, lastly warm winds from the Gulf 
and the Southwest superabundantly laden with rain, and day after day 
pouring out many inches of water. The ground being frozen is 
impervious to the water from the rain and melted snow, and the torrents 
from four States are poured into the mighty river. 

The agency of the removal of forests and the cultivation of the soil 
in increasing the number and destructiveness of floods had been much 
discussed. Forests with their roots, fallen leaves and branches, act as 
sponges, and to some extent hold back the water. The clearing and cul- 
tivation of the land and the increase of tile and ditch-drains, facilitate 
the discharge of the rain-fall into the streams; but it would seem that 
the effects of these changes from a state of nature in causing floods have 
been exaggerated. Certainly the destruction of forests cannot be the 
cause of floods, for there were disastrous high waters at the very earliest 
settlements. Dr. George Sutton, of Aurora, has vigorously attacked the 
theory that the removal of forests produces our great floods. He says: 

"The advocates of this theory seem to have forgotten that there have 


been fluctuations not only in temperature but in the amount of rain-fall 
over different parts of the globe in all ages, and that the vast amount of 
moisture accompanying our continental storms is brought from the ocean 
by great atmospheric currents, and that this moisture is deposited over 
the country and along the valleys of our rivers independent of local 

"A combination of circumstances may produce a flood similar to what 
we had in 1884, forests or no forests. It is known that the fall of one 
inch of rain is equivalent to 2,000,000 of cubic feet of water to the 
square mile. If five inches of rain fall suddenly upon a deep snow lying 
upon frozen ground in the valley of the Ohio Biver, the forests would 
certainly have but little influence in preventing a disastrous flood. 
From alluvial deposits we have conclusive evidence that great floods have 
occurred in the Ohio River long before the country was settled by the 
white man." 

1788-89. — There was a great flood in the latter part of the winter in 
which the Miami country was first settled. The troops arriving at the 
mouth of the Great Miami were prevented by the high water from occu- 
pying Fort Finney. The new settlement at Columbia in January was 
under water; "but one house escaped the deluge." The soldiers were 
driven from the ground floor of the block-house into the loft and from 
the loft into the solitary boat which the ice had spared them. John 
Cleves Symmes in a letter to Col. Dayton, dated North Bend, May, 1789, 
says that the whole country thereabout had been inundated, and that "the 
season was remarkable for the amazing height of the water in the Ohio, 
beino" many feet higher than had been known since the white people had 
come into Kentucky." 

A memorandum by Judge Goforth reads thus: "September 25, 1789, 
Maj. Stites, old Mr. Bealer and myself took the depth of the Ohio River, 
and found there was fifty-seven feet of water in the channel, and that 
the water was fifty-five feet lower at that time than it was at that 
uncommonly high freshet last winter. The water at the high flood was 
112 feet." ' 

It is evident that there is an error in these figures. If they were cor- 
rect no house in Columbia would have escaped the deluge. It is prob- 
able that these early observers made a mistake in measuring the height 
of the marks of the flood or that they struck a hole in the river. 

1832. — Passing over the high waters of more than forty years we 
come to the first great flood of which a correct record exists, that of Feb- 
ruary, 1832. On the 1st of February, the ground was covered with snow, 
but the weather was warm and pleasant. The snow melted rapidly until 
the 6th, when the rain set in. On the 8th and 9th it rained continuously; 


on the 10th the rising of the waters in the Ohio began to attract attention 
at Cincinnati and Lawrenceburgh; on the 14th many merchants at Cin- 
cinnati were compelled to remove their goods to the second story of their 
houses; the river continued to rise rapidly until Saturday morning, 
February 18, when it came to a stand. 

The flood was of a most distressing character; the Ohio did more 
damage by overflowing its banks than had ever before been done since the 
first settlement of the country. Nearly all the towns on the Ohio were 
inundated in whole or in part. Fences and movable property were 
swept from all the farms on the river bottom from Pittsburgh to Louis- 
ville. Houses, barns, grain and haystacks were seen floating down the 
river in great numbers. Hundreds of families were turned houseless 
upon the community. At^Cincinnati the water covered between thirty 
and forty squares of the city which was then nearly all crowded into the 

The flood reached its highest point on the 18th; two days later it 
had declined two feet four inches; on the 24th the river was within its 
banks. The bottoms^^about Cincinnati and Lawrenceburgh may be said 
to have been inundated for about twelve days — six days while the flood 
was advancing and six days after the decline began. The Lawrence- 
burgh Palladium, published by David V. Culley, in its issue of March 
3, 1832, said of this flood: 

"The late great flood in the Ohio and its disastrous effects being sub- 
jects of painful interest to all, we have collected in our paper to-day 
statements from the different towns on the river. From Pittsburgh and 
as far down as we have been able to learn; the destruction of property 
has been great beyond a parallel in the West. The height of the water 
in this place, over the great flood of 1815, was five feet nine inches, 
and over that of 1825 about eight feet. High Street, the most elevated 
part of the town, was covered with from four to six feet of water its 
whole extent. On some of the cross streets the water was still higher, 
and the inhabitants were compelled to seek refuge in the buildings 
along High and Walnut Streets. All the two story buildings on these 
streets were filled to overflowing — some having three, four and five 
families in them." 

Although Lawrenceburgh suffered much from this flood, some of the 
statements concerning the condition of the town at the time of high 
waters were gross exaggerations. A Cincinnati newspaper stated that 
"the town of Lawrenceburgh is wholly inundated, so that there is 
scarcely a house to be seen but the spire of the church." To this the 
Statesmen replied: "Now the truth of the matter is, the flood was 
perhaps about six or seven feet higher than it has ever been known; 


two small frame or log dwellings on the low ground were floated away, 
and some light, empty frames removed from their foundations, but no 
lives were lost and no very serious injury sustained, indeed not nearly 
so much as was expected while the flood was up and before it subsided. 
The whole of the old part of the town was inundated, but the principal 
part of the new town was not touched with the flood. * * * 

* * * * No white man can recollect when the water has 
been of sufficient height to overflow the principal street in our village, 
and except the small cupola on the court house there is not a spire, dome 
or sky-light on a church or any other building in the town." 

1847. — The flood of this year is the only destructive one in the Ohio 
of which we have any record, occurring in the month of December. The 
rise was from streams on both sides of the Ohio emptying'their waters into 
the Ohio above Lawrenceburgh. The Ohio began to swell December 
10, 1847. December 15, there was a heavy fall of snow. On the 
17th the waters reached their highest point, when there were sixty-three 
feet and seven inches of water at Cincinnati. 

1882. — The flood of February, 1882, although the waters were not so 
high as in 1832 and 1847, was disastrous and appalling at Lawrence- 
burgh. We copy from the newspapers of that city: 

"For several weeks the Ohio River, at this city, had been rising grad- 
ually, until Monday evening, February 20, it had reached a point at the 
junction of the till in the fair grounds and the "Big Four" Railroad, 
when it became necessary, on account of the depression in the fair 
ground embankment, to raise the bank at least two feet in order to keep 
the waters which had been accumulating from flowing over the bank into 
the city. Mayor Roberts promptly secured a force and went to work 
with energy and determination to do all that could be done to keep back 
if possible the waters, and up to midnight Monday had succeeded ad- 
mirably in holding them in check. But the continued rains for the past 
few days had swollen the White Water and Miami Rivers to such an ex- 
tent that it was soon evident that it would be impossible to keep up the 
embankment of the "Big Four" Railroad from this city to Hardintown, 
and the most that could be expected was to hold the waters back until 
morning or daylight. But at about 4 o'clock Tuesday morning, the 2l8t, 
the waters from the Miami were thrown against the "Big Four'' Rail- 
road track with excessive pressure, on account of the barrier formed by 
the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, which would not permit the accumu- 
lated waters to pass into the Ohio River, when at a point just below the 
locks, at Hardintown, and a point opposite the Trough Pond, near 
Nicholas Fox's, the water broke through, and it was not long until it was 
rushing with fearful velocity, and in vast volumes through the upper 


end of the city, carrying terrible destruction in its wide and rapidly ex- 
tending pathway. The screams of the people in the lower parts of the 
town, when they were aroused to the fact that they were surrounded by 
the flood of waters, were distressing in the extreme. The Mayor had 
arranged for giving a signal of alarm by the ringing of the church bells, 
and when it was known that the flood was coming the bells pealed out 
their terrible warning, and at the same time the flood gates at the lower 
end of the city were opened, and the torrent of waters came rushing from 
both directions with equal destructive force until they met at Walnut 
Street, like two mighty giant monsters of the deep amid its angry waves 
struggling for the supremacy of the sea, until both ended their existence 
in death, and thus the waters ceased their angry flow. 

"Although it was generally known that it would be impossible to 
keep the waters out of the city, and that many of the houses were ten 
feet or more below the surface of the water in the river, yet compara- 
tively few persons were prepared when the rush of waters came. The 
result was the loss of individual property has been very gi-eat. Not so 
much in the aggregate of dollars and cents, however, as that it came to a 
class of people not able to lose anything — yet in many cases it took all 
they had, even to their houses. Both in the upper and lower end of the 
city quite a number of small houses could be ween overturned, while 
others had floated away from their foundations. It is surprising how 
many families were driven so hastily from their homes, on account of the 
sudden rise of the water within the city limits, which in its mad career 
seemed to wash, upturn and drive everything before it. Hardly two 
hours had elapsed from the time the water broke its barriers until it 
was in every part of the city doing its work of devastation, and yet we 
have heard of but one death. 

"The men employed in their skifi"s and hastily provided boats did 
noble work in rescuing the people from the great peril in which they 
were so suddenly found. Large numbers of families took shelter in the 
public school buildings, in the court house, in the stove works, in the 
lodge rooms and other large rooms on High Street, as well as with pri- 
vate families, and it may be said that over a thousand persons were made 
homeless for the night at least. It was but a short time after getting 
housed until they were provided with food and made as comfortable as it 
was possible to make them under such unforeseen circumstances and the 
short time which was given to work. 

"The waters continued to rise until about 4 o'clock Tuesday after 
noon, and from that time until midnight there was but little change, 
when it began to fall. In the afternoon it had covered High Street, 
with the exception of here and there a small portion of the center of the 


street could be seen as dark spots above the water. High Street being 
the highest street in old Lawrenceburgh, this part of the city therefore 
was entirely submerged. The store houses, with floors even with the 
pavements, had a few inches of water on their first floor. On all streets 
besides High the buildings were more or less filled with water, ranging 
from one foot to fifteen feet." 

1883. — Early in February of this year the continued rains and 
gradual rising of the river had been a topic of conversation at Law- 
renceburgh, but notwithstanding the Ohio and Miami Elvers had been 
making encroachments on the high lands, hopes were entertained that the 
river would not exceed that of 1882, and that the levee, though known to 
be weak at the points filled after the washout of the preceding Feb- 
ruary, would be sufficient to hold the waters in check, but the people were 
doomed to bitter disappointment. The whole city was completely sub- 
merged except a few squares in Newtown. High Street, the highest 
street in what is termed Oldtown, or the principal part of the city was 
under water on an average of about six feet, and there was not, in the 
main part of the city, a single house of which the first floor was not 
under water. The stores all along High Street had an average of about five 
and one-half feet of water in them, and along Elm, Short, Walnut and 
other streets leading from the river, the depth of water increased, 
and in many cases the water reached the second story. In 1882 the 
waters were enabled to flow over High Street by the aid of a boom from 
the Miami, but the Ohio failed to reach this street, the highest street in 
the city, only at the extreme upper end. In 1888, however, the Ohio 
Eiver became the ruling master, and took complete possession of the city, 
and covered its highest street to the depth of six feet. 

With such a depth of water running with rapid current through the 
city, it was to be expected that the loss of property would be enormous. 
Aside from the loss of merchants, grocery men and business men, the 
destruction of houshold goods and personal property was enormous. 
The loss of buildings also was great. Eight manufacturing establish- 
ments, 2 business houses, 40 dwellings, and 3 stables were entirely 
destroyed, and 179 dwelling houses, 133 barns and stables, 19 shops, 
6 business houses, removed from their foundations. Graham & Marshall 
lost heavily in lumber and had their saw-mill swept away, while Henry 
Fitch's losses were nearly as large, although his mill stood firm. 

As the water disappeared the destruction of property became more 
apparent. The houses generally presented a very shattered appearance; 
the windows were broken out, doors and sash smashed, and where the fur- 
niture had not been removed, bureaus, bedsteads, tables, and safes were 
tm-ned upside down, mirrors smashed, carpets, bed-clothing and wear- 


ing apparel covered with slimy mud, and pianos injured beyond 
rep air. 

1884. — The flood of February, 1884, was by far the greatest and 
most destructive known since white men took possession of the Ohio 
Valley. In December, of the winter of 1883-84, a great amount of 
snow fell; over this was spread several inches of fine hail, so that the 
amount of frozen water spread over the Ohio Valley was very great. 
Throughout January more snow fell, only a portion of which melted. 
Three feet of snow had fallen, and much of it was spread over the 
valley, or accumulated in drifts. At last came the warm storms from the 
southwest, and day after day there were heavy rains. All the conditions 
existed for a disastrous flood. Nowhere was it more destructive and 
frightful than at Lawrenceburgh. On Wednesday, Februai-y 6, 1884 at 
about noon of that day, the levee was still holding back the water 
between old Lawrenceburgh and Newtown and Hardintown; but along 
High Street, between Elm and St. Clair Streets, the waters from the Ohio 
began to pour into the city. Up to 10 o'clock at night but a very small 
part of the city had been visited by the waters, but at about this hour the 
levee at the locks, just below Hardintown, gave way, and the rushing 
element came with all its fury, spreading in wild confusion over the 
fields beyond, and in a few hours extending with rapidity all over the 
city, but, unlike 1882, it met the water from the Ohio, and thus the 
force of the current was broken, and but little damage was done to 
property on account of the rush of waters. 

By 1 o'clock Thursday morning, the waters covered High Street, with 
the exception of that part of the street between Charlotte Street and the 
railroad crossing at the Miami Valley Furniture Factory. This point, 
the highest on High Street, was the last to become submerged. From 
this hour (Thursday morning at 6 o'clock) at which time there was about 
twelve inches on High Street, the rise was gradual until Thursday, the 
14th; at 5:45 P. M., it came to a stand-still, and then remained appar- 
ently stationary for nearly five' hours, when it began slowly to recede, 
until on Thursday morning, 21st inst., the most of High Street was again 
visible, after being beneath the flood of waters for two weeks. 

The water rose to such height that the force of its lifting power alone 
was sufficient to upturn buildings and break them in two; but to this 
force was added a boisterous wind-stoi'm that shook the buildings to their 
bases and lashed them with the furious waves until hundreds of build- 
ings of various kinds left their foundations to be tossed upon the waters, 
broken to pieces or carried bodily into the river and lost forever to their 

On Thursday morning, February 15th, at 6 o'clock, the waters reached 


their highest point, being two feet eight inches higher at Lawrenceburgh 
than ever before known. The heights at various places in the city are 
here given: 

Ferris' drug store, 8 feet 4 inches; Jordan's drug store, 8 feet 7 inches; 
Indiana House, 22 inches on second floor; Hilhnan's store, lOfeet 5 inches; 
Kieflfer's store, 5 inches on second floor; postoffice. 9 feet 5 inches; court 
house, 4 feet 6 inches; People's Bank, 8 feet 10 inches; Methodist 
Church, 1 inch on second floor. • 

The entire village of Hardintown was under waterfor twelve days, 
and its inhabitants took refuge in the Bellview Church and with friends. 
Relief committees were organized and contributions were promptly 
sent from all parts of the country. The Lawrenceburgh Relief Commit- 
tee received and disbursed over S20,000. 

Large quantities of provisions were bought, and liberal donations of 
bedding, clothing, food and coal were received from various parts of the 
country to relieve the distresses of the 3,000 persons driven from their 
homes by the flood. When the waters subsided many houses were found 
wrecked, which the owners were unable to repair. A blank form of ap- 
plication for relief was prepared and the owner was required to show, 
under oath, his or her inability to repair the damages. One hundred 
and eighty -seven of these were tiled, of which 160 were granted. 

Eleven houses were completely swept away, tifty-four were off the 
foundation, some of them several hundred feet, and fourteen of them 
turned over. An efficient force of movers, carpenters, stone and brick 
masons, plasterers, and laborers were engaged to repair the damages. 

The executive committee compromised a large number of cases, 
allowing the owners to do the work themselves, or have it done, and the 
amount was paid on certificate that it was completed. 

The following is a table of the highest water marks, as kept on record 
at Cincinnati, for the years mentioned below: 

1833, February 18 64 feet 3 in. 

1847, December 17 63 feet 7 in. 

1859, February 22 55 feet 5 in. 

1862, January 24 57 feet 4 in. 

1865, March 7 56 feet 3 in. 

1867, March 14 55 feet 8 in. 

1870, January 19 55 feet 3 in. 

1875, August 6 55 feet 5 in. 

1882, February 21 58 feet 7 in. 

1883, February 15 66 feet 4 in. 

1884, February 14 71 feet f in. 

The river gauge at Cincinnati is at the water works. The zero of the 
guage corresponds, as nearly as it was possible to make it at the time it 
was established, with the Four-mile Bar above the city. The figures 


above given show the depth of the water on that bar, and are not a true 
guide to water in the river channel. When there is twenty-three inches 
of water on the Four-mile Bar there is fifteen feet in the channel oppo- 
site the water- works. If thirteen feet, therefore, be added to the above 
figures, it will approximate the depth of water in the channel at 

On account of the greater quantities of water poured out from the 
Great Miami at some floods than others, the relative heights at Cincinnati 
and Lawrenceburgh are not the same; thus, in 1884, the waters at Cin- 
cinnati were four feet eight and three-fourths inches higher than in 1883, 
while at Lawrenceburgh they were but three feet four inches higher. 


Revolutionary Soldiers— The War of 1812— The Mexican War— 
The Civil War— The Honorable Record of Dearborn and Ohio 
Counties in the Struggle for the Union— The Morgan Raid- 
Drafts and Bounties— War Expenditures of the Counties— Aid 
Societies — Rejoicing at the Surrender of Lee. 

AMONG the pioneers who settled in Dearborn County were a num- 
ber who served in the Revolutionary war, and the following is a 
list prepared by George W. Lane of the soldiers of that great struggle 
for freedom whose remains are buried within the limits of the county: 
Capt. Joseph Hayes. Winthrop Robinson. Joseph Barlow. ' 

Col. Zebulon Pike. Enoch Sackett. William Kerr. 

Capt. Isaac Cannon. Jacob Toothman. James Skeets. 

Maj. John Calhoun. William White. James Dykman. 

Ephraim Morrison. James Scott. Henry Raymer. 

Peter Carbaugh. Jabez Percival. John Sackett. 

John Baker. Capt. John Crandon. Baylis Cloud. 

Samuel Marsh. Capt. Hugh Dunn. Job Judd. 

Samuel Richardson. John DeMcss. Elijah Rich. 

Joseph Hannegan. Isaac Way. Jonas Frazier. 

Jacob Taylor. John Day. Mr. Burroug. 

The following is an incomplete list of the pioneers of Ohio County 
who were Revolutionary soldiers: 

Noah Miller, from New Jersey, served in the "Jersey Line," partici- 
pated in many skirmishes and in the hard-fought battle of Monmouth, 
N. J., suffering severely in the latter engagement. 


Hannaniah Rollins served in the "Jersey Line," entering the service 
in his sixteenth year. About 1777 he was attached to the band, or to the 
"music," as it was termed, as fifer, was promoted to iife-major, and 
served his country to the end of the war. 

Ephraim Bobbins, a native of Connecticut, served in the war, partici- 
pating in several skirmishes, and was wounded in a skirmish which took 
place in Rhode Island. 

John Fulton (a soldier) and wife were made prisoners by the Indians 
in 1780, during the Revolutionary war, and remained captives one year. 

Benjamin Chambers was commissioned by the Continental Congress 
an ensign in the First Pennsylvania Regiment in 1778, when not fifteen 
years of age, and in the following year was made a lieutenant. He was 
in active service several years, and was distinguished for gallant bearing 
on the field of battle. 

James Stewart, who died near Rising Sun in 1833, at the age of 
seventy-eight years, was a Revolutionary patriot. 


THE WAK OF 1812. 

Dearborn County, we believe, furnished no organizations that were 
engaged in the Indian campaigns, but she did, under the direction of 
Gen. Harrison, organize a company under Gen. James Dill, commanded 
by Capt. James McGuire, which max'ched from Lawrenceburgh to 
Lebanon, Ohio, then the place of rendezvous of the troops raised in the 
counties of southwestern Ohio, and, it appears from what follows, thence 
marched to Piqua, Ohio, but were there met with the information that the 
Indians were advancing on the frontier, and were ordered back to 
Lawrenceburgh to protect the frontier settlements. 

The part the county played in this war is set forth in the following 
article, written in 1862, and published in the Aurora Comriiercial over 
the signature of E. Chafin: 

'^Soldiering in 1812. — Mr. Editor, I will give you a little of our ex- 
perience of camp life in 1812-13. We first volunteered in a company 
under Capt. James McGuire, in the fall of 1811, to join Gen. Harrison's 
army, but before we were organized the battle of Tippecanoe was fought, 
and we stood as minute men until after the declaration of war with 
Great Britain, June 18, 1812. On the 1st of August following we or- 
ganized again under Capt. McGuire, were attached to Maj. Shatter's Bri" 
gade, and marched to Piqua, on the Mad River, in Ohio, where we joined 
Gen. Harrison's army. We were there some two weeks, when an ex- 
press arrived from old Dearborn to Gen. Harrison, who ordered us to 
countermarch to Indiana Territory to protect the frontier. 

"Our company built a block-house at Brookville, commanded by Lieut. 



Breckinridge; one on Tanner's Creek, commanded by Capt. Blasdell, 
and a third on Laughery, where Capt. McGuire afterward lived. We 
scouted from one of these block-houses to the other until April 1, 1813, 
when we were mustered out, and returned to our homes. With all our 
scouting, the Indians were watching iis, as the sequel proved. The 
block- houses were not filled for nearly a week, and during that time the 
Indians stole eight horses and a large quantity of tobacco from Isaac 
Allen, on South Hogan, and two horses from Nicholas Lindsay, who 
lived where George Lane now lives. They also spoiled three or four 
yoke of cattle by cutting their ham-strings. Many of the inhabitants then 
moved over into Kentucky for fear of the Indians, but 'old Kentuck' sent 
us Capt. Seabury, with his company, who chased the Indians across 
White River; they found the river so swollen that they had to give up 
the chase and return. Maj. Nichols, of Wilmington, and Conrad Huff- 
man were both in the chase. They are both dead. I have been 
acquainted with them both for fifty years." 



The following list of citizens of Dearborn County who served in the 
second war with England was prepared by Greorge W. Lane: 

Samuel C. Vance. 
James Dill. 
John Weaver. 
James W. Weaver. 
Justice Sortwell. 
Decker Crozier. 
James McGuire. 
Samuel Ewan. 
George Greer. 
Joseph Morgan. 
Samuel Frazier. 
William Randall. 
Dr. Samuel Martin. 
Obediah Priest. 
Thomas Annis. 
Ephraim Hollister. 
Jesse Sacket. 
John Greenfield. 
Warren Tebbs. 
Johnson Watts. 
Aaron Bonham. 
Joshua Yerkees. 
James Salmon. 
Casper Johnson. 
George Lewis. — 
Maston Isgrigg. 
Willobv Tebbs. 
Enoch Blasdell. 
Abijah Decker. 
William Majors 
Stephen Thorn. 
William King. 
Jonathan Lewis. 
Timothy Kimble. 

James Bruce. 
Elial Chafin. 
Thomas Kyle. 
Jonathan AUee. 
Isaac Randall 
Garret Swallow. 
T. N. Burroughs. 
Joseph Daniels. 
Samuel Perry. 
Thomas Porter. 
Maj. John Lewis. 
Ellis Williamson. 
Israel Bonham. 
Nathan Lewis. 
Obediah Voshell. 
Thomas Johnson. - 
James Dart. 
Isaac Taylor. 
William Webb. 
James Cloud. 
Thomas Ehler. 
William Maserve. 
James King. 
Joshua Staples. 
Ferdinand Turner. 
George Rudisal. 
Thomas Covington 
John Durham. 
-George Mason. 
Levi Garrison. 
Jesse Calaway. 
Job Judd, Jr. 
Joseph Judd. 
Jacob Rudisal. 

Maj. Jeremiah John-Alex Roseberry. 
son, Sr. Nathaniel Tucke 

James C. Cornelius, ©aleb Roseberry. 

Ira Cloud. 

Thomas Dart. 

Michael Farran. 

Richard Pippin. 

John Lilly. 

Caleb Johnson. 

Capt. Robert Brack- 

Spencer Wyley. 

Job Hayes. 

William Ashby. 

Capt. Charles Stev- 

John White. 

J. Brackenidge. 

Nicholas Mason. 

John Majors. 

James Eads. 

Samuel Johnson. 

Robert Gullett. 

John Durham. 

William Green. 

Stephen Green. 

Philip Mason. 

John Burk. 
Daniel Mason. 
Aquilla Cross. 
John Mason. 
Matthew Lamdon. 
Samuel Thornton. 
John Tanner. 
Baylcss Ashby. 
William Lake. 
James Ofield. 
Robert Majors. 
Elijah Eads. 
Thomas Hackelman. 
Noyes Canfield. 
James Withrow. 
James Boyd. 
Capt. StepheaWood. 
James Powell. 
Joseph Plummer. 
Daniel Salmon. 
Samuel Roberts. 
Charles Clements. 
Enoch Pugh. 
Col. Henry Miller. 

/-'Valentine Lawrence. James Holmes, Sr 
/ Finlev Judd. 

Michael Rudisal. 
Jerry Johnson, Jr. 
Maj. Thomas Brac- 

John Hall. 

Joseph Huston. 
William Caldwell. 
Jacob Fielding. 
Edwards Clements. 
Luther Plummer. 


We have been unable to obtain a complete list of the soldiers of the 
war of 1812, who resided in Dearborn County, south of Laughery Creek. 
The following is a partial list and includes the names of those buried in 
the Rising Sun (Graveyard: 

Henry Palmer, Morris Merrill, Nathaniel L. Squibb (entered the 
army as a drummer at the age of fifteen years), Capt. John I. French 
William Goldson, Sooter McAdams, Benjamin Moulton (Kanger) 
Mathew Cadwell, Abel C. Pepper, Thomas Lindsay, George Hewett 
Thomas Jones, Robert McGuffin, William Padgett, James B. Smith, Jere 
miah Clore, Andrew Y. McComb, Thomas , Bradley, Mr. Ricketts, Levi 
Winters, Rev. James Jones, Martin Mitchell, William O'Neal, William 
Tilton, Gilbert Hall, Daniel Taber, Robert E. Covington. 


Immediately on the proclamation of President Polk calling for three 
regiments from Indiana, James H. Lane, then a merchant of Lawrence- 
burgh, organized a company ( F ) of volunteers for the Mexican War, 
and was the first to report to the governor the organization of a company. 
Jefiersonville was made the place of rendezvous, where, on the organ- 
ization of the Third Indiana Volunteer Regiment, James H. Lane was 
elected its colonel, and George Dunn, of Lawrenceburgh, succeeded Lane 
in the captaincy ^of the company. The regiment went immediately to 
Mexico, and participated in the battle at Buena Vista. At the com- 
mencement of the battle the Third Regiment was placed in the reserve; 
during the progress of the battle a number of brigades were forced back, 
and the Third Regiment was ordered to the front and maintained its 
position during the entire battle, and was the only regiment that did not 
retreat in the face of the enemy during the entire engagement, thereby 
redeeming the honor and credit of the State of Indiana. 

A second call was made upon Indiana the following year for soldiers, 
and Ebenezer Dumont, of Lawrenceburgh, organized and reported a com- 
pany ready for service; and under the same call, Capt. William Bald- 
ridge, of Lawrenceburgh (late of Pennsylvania), organized a company 
and was chosen its captain. On the organization of the regiment— the 
Fourth Indiana Volunteers — Ebenezer Dumont was elected lieutenant- 
colonel, and Thomas J. Lucas, of Lawrenceburgh, was chosen captain of 
the company, succeeding Dumont. 

The Fourth Regiment was ordered to Vera Cruz, and was assigned to 
the main army under Gen. Scott. On their march they learned that 
Santa Anna was at a certain point, and a portion of one of the Law- 
renceburgh companies was detached, under Capt. Thomas J. Lucas, who 
advanced so rapdily that he came near taking Santa Anna himself, reach- 


ing the house in which he had slept the night previously, while the bed 
he had occupied was yet warm, Anna having left in such haste that his 
wooden leg was left behind. 

The term of enlistment of the Third Regiment having expired, it, 
with the colonel, returned to Indiana. Col. Lane by the authority of the 
President then organized from all parts of the State the Fifth Regiment 
Indiana Volunteers, one company of which was from Dearborn County. 
The place of rendezvous of the regiment was at Madison, where James 
H. Lane was elected^colonel of the regiment. The regiment was at once 
ordered to the front, and joined the main army of Gen. Scott at the City 
of Mexico. The regiment, together with^ the Fourth, remained in the 
service until peace was declared. 

The Fifth Regiment, while yet in Mexico, held a meeting of its officers 
and men, and voted their colonel, James H. Lane, a sword to cost |1,000. 
The funds were placed in the hands of a committee, which purchased 
the sword and presented it to Lane on ,hi8 return from the war. This 
sword was in his house at Lawrence, Kas., when Quantrell made his 
murderous attack on that city, and before leaving Lane's house stole it, 
with many other valuables in the house. During the pursuit of the 
retreating rebels, Col. Lane found the sword, took it home and it has 
since remained in the family as an heirloom. 


The people of Dearborn and Ohio Counties may well cherish with 
pride their record in the war of the Rebellion. When the national flag 
was fired on the people were prompt and thorough in response to the call 
to arms, and men of all parties exhibited alacrity and patriotism in 
bearing their share of the burdens of the momentous struggle. 

On the receipt of the intelligence of the fall of Fort Sumter, the 
excitement throughout both counties was intense. Ordinary occupations 
and pursuits were almost forgotten. Lawrenceburgh, Aurora and Ris- 
ing Sun were thronged with an excited populace, asking for the latest 
news from the seat of hostilities. The people's patriotism ran high, and 
the loyal men of all parties, forgetting past differences, announced their 
readiness to follow their country's call. 

The following history of Dearborn County in the war of 1861-65, 
under this head^ was prepared by Capt. Alexander B. Pattison,of Aurora: 

The record of Dearborn County in the war of the Rebellion, shows it 
to have been second to no other county of equal population in the State. 
It was one of the first to respond to the call for troops, and within twen- 
ty-four hours after the firing on Fort Sumter, three companies had of- 
fered their services, and were soon under way to the State capital for 
muster into the Seventh Regiment for three months. These three com- 


panies were Company D, of Lawrenceburgb, with Benjamin J. Spooner 
as captain, who, after being mustered in, was succeeded by John F. 
Cheek (Capt. Spooner being promoted to lieutenant-colonel), David E. 
Sparks, first lieutenant, and Jesse Armstrong, second lieutenant, with 75 
enlisted men; Company Gr, of Lawrenceburgb, with Nathan Lord as 
captain, L. H. Stephens, first lieutenant, William Francis, second lieu- 
tenant, with 75 enlisted men; Company E, of Aurora, with John H. 
Ferry as captain, Henry Waller as first lieutenant, and Alexander B. 
Pattison as second lieutenant. These three companies formed the van 
guard of what afterward proved almost ^n army of itself that went from 
Dearborn County. They were followed next by two companies for the 
Sixteenth Regiment, of one year troops — Company G, with Albert G. 
Dennis as captain, William J. Fitch, first lieutenant, and Philip Dex- 
heimer, second lieutenant, with 78 enlisted men, and Company I, from 
Aurora, with John A. Platter as captain; William Copeland, first lieuten- 
ant; Israel Phalin, second lieutenant, .with 84 enlisted men. The Six- 
teenth organized with Thomas J. Lucas as lieutenant-colonel, and Ed- 
ward Jones as chaplain from the county. Later the Seventh Regiment 
reorganized for the three years' service with one company, A, from Aurora^ 
John H. Ferry, captain; Alexander B. Pattison, first lieutenant, and Ben- 
jamin F. Burlingame as second lieutenant, with 108 enlisted men, in- 
cluding recruits; served three years; lost by death while in the service, 
24; mustered out at end of service, 33. Company K, of Lawrenceburgh, 
with Jesse Armstrong as captain; Homer Chismar, first lieutenant, and 
James F.Vaughn, second lieutenant, with 111 enlisted men; lost by death 
during service, 19; mustered out at end of service, 31. 

In the Eighteenth Regiment was Thomas Pattison, colonel, and A. 
P. Daughters, surgeon. With Company A — captain, Jesse L. Holman; 
first lieutenant, Robert G. Cunningham; second lieutenant, Judson B. 
Tyler, and 108 enlisted men; lost by death, 6; mustered out at end of the 
service of three years, 21. 

Enlisted in tbe Thirty-second Regiment was Company C, with John 
L. Giegoldt as captain ; Max Sachs, first lieutenant, and Henry Bellman 
second lieutenant, with 130 enlisted men; lost by death during service, 
22; mustered out at end of enlistment, 32 men. Company D, with John 
Schwartz as captain; Frank Knorr, first lieutenant; Emanuel Eller, sec- 
ond lieutenant, with 122 enlisted men; lost by death during service, 19; 
mustered out at end of service, 50 men. 

Enlisted in the Thirty- seventh regiment from Dearborn County, 
Company F, with Wesley G. Markland as captain; John B. Hodges, 
first lieutenant, and Joseph P. Stoops, second lieutenant, with 101 en- 
listed men; lost by death, 24; mustered out at end of service, 43. 


For the Forty-fifth (Third Cavalry) Regiment, Dearborn County fur- 
nished Company D, with Daniel B. Kiester as captain; Mathew B. Ma- 
son, first lieutenant; Henry F. Wright as second lieutenant, with 84 
enlisted men; lost by death, 10; mustered out at end of service, 36. 
The county furnished to the Fifty-second Regiment, Company C, with 
George W. Tyer as captain; William Francis, first lieutenant and Eli 
Mattox, second lieutenant, with 100 enlisted men; lost by death during 
service, 11; mustered out at end of service, 41. 

To the Eighty-third Regiment there was sent Benjamin J. Spooner, 
as colonel; George H. Scott, as lieutenant-colonel; Henry C. Vincent 
and Samuel M. VVeaver, assistant surgeons. Company B, with Jacob 
W. Eggleston, as captain; Henry Gerkin, first lieutenant; Dandridge E. 
Kelsey, second lieutenant, with 113 enlisted men; lost by death during 
service, 30; mustered out at end of service, 37. 

Company H, with James M. Crawford, as captain; John Rawling, 
first lieutenant, and Ferris J. Nowlin, second lieutenant; with 92 enlist- 
ed men; lost daring enlistment, 20; mustered out at end of enlistment, 
42. Company I, with Henry J. Bradford, as captain; William N. Craw, 
first lieutenant, and George W. Lowe, second lieutenant; with 91 en- 
listed men; deaths during term of service, 18; mustered out at end of 
enlistment, 37 men; while in the same regiment there were 75 more men 
from Dearborn County distributed to the other companies. 

To the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Regiment, Company I, with 
George W. Shockley, as captain; Edwin T. Gibson, first lieutenant, and 
George W. Wood, as second lieutenant, with 95 enlisted men; all mus- 
tered out at end of 100 days, the term of enlistment. 

To the One Hundred and Forty-sixth Regiment, Company G, with 
Josiah Dorn, as captain; Sanford Briddle, first lieutenant, and Enoch Al- 
len, second lieutenant, with 100 enlisted men; lost by death, 4; mus- 
tered out at end of enlistment, 82. 

Dearborn County also furnished one company to the Eleventh Ken 
lucky Volunteers, with F. Slater, captain, afterward promoted to colonel 
of the regiment; Edward H. Green, first lieutenant, with 80 enlisted 
men; lost by death during service, 8; mustered out at end of enlist- 
ment, 46. 

The foregoing shows a grand total of 1,946 men enlisted in the 
county, while, undoubtedly, a large number more enlisted in different 
regiments in and without the State that we have no account of, and as 
far as we have the i-ecord it also shows that there were killed, and died 
while in the field, 224, and that there were mustered out with the regi- 
ments at the expiration of their term of service, 661, the others having 
been discharged, deserted, transferred to other regiments, taken prison- 



ers, etc. Such is a brief statement of the number of men furnished by 
Dearborn County during the war of the Rebellion, while there was 
scarcely a battle fought during the war in which the county was not 

The Indiana Regiments which contained the greatest number of men 
from Ohio County were the Seventh, Eighty-third, Second Battery and 
Fourth Cavalry. 

The following is the list of the officers and men of Company I, of 
tlie Seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry (three months' service): 


Capt. John W. Rabb. 

First Lieut. Solomon Wixterman. 

Second Lieut. David Loslutter. 

All of Rising Sun. 
First Sergt. Frank Gregory 
Sergt. Joseph G. Bell. 
Sergt. Hugh Jameson. 

Sergt. Joseph S. Thompson. 
Corp. Samuel S. Lynn. 
Corp. Silas P. Richmond.* 
Corp. Jerry McElvay. 
Corp. Hudson Campbell. 
Musician, Fred Garlinghouse. 
Musician, William P. Ammen. 

Adkins, Thomas J. Fortner, Jesse 

Adkinson, James Fowler, Frank 

Burgess, Levi H. Gockle, Wm. P. 

Brunley, Riley Hunt, A. D. 

Bennett, John Hardin, Allen 
Bradshaw, Marion 

Barker, Philip B. Hardy, John E. 

Colley, John Husseman, John 
Connell, George 


Moore, Richard 
McNutt, John P. 
Pink, Samuel 
Pink, Archibald 
Piersou, Julius C. 

Hourigan, Michael Neal, John 

Neal, Charles 
Richmond, Peter 

Hayman, Henry T. Scoggin, Elisha 
Smith, Joseph H. 
Smith, James 

Stelink, Henry 
Tinker, James M. 
Tinker, Wesley 
Terrill, William 
Van Antwert, Wm. 
Vehouse, Frederick 
Walker, M. C. 
Walker, George 
Walker, Edward 
Wade, Harvey J. 
Williams, Oliver D. 
Williams, Orville G. 
Williams, Jerome B. 
Yarnell, Daniel 
Yonker, Hartley 

Cunningham, Martin Harrison, Ellis 

Dodd, John W. Jennings, D. A. 

Dodd, Thomas M. Lemons, Geo. W. Smith, Henry H. 

Degner, Charles Loslutter, Chris Smith, Ephraim 

Eastman, William C.Lakin, Frank Summers, Jesse 

Elias, Hamilton McQuithey, J. B. Stout, John W. 

Elstar, Levi H. Maloue, Joseph Stephenson, Geo. W. 

The Seventh Regiment was organized and mustered into service for 
three months, at Indianapolis, April 25, 1861, with Ebeuezer Dumont 
(who bad served with distinction in the Mexican war) as colonel. On 
the 29th of May it was ordered to West Virginia and proceeded at once 
by rail to Grafton. On the 2d of June it proceeded by rail to Webster, 
where it was joined by other regiments. The entire force was then 
divided into two columns under the immediate command of Col. Kelley, 
and was marched to Philippi, the Seventh being in advance. The 
advance guard under Lieut. Benjamin Ricketts, of Company B, Avhen 
within a mile of the town, engaged the enemy's pickets and drove them 
back. The Seventh, followed by the rest of the column, crossed a bridge 


and entered the town at double-quick, driving the rebels before them 
out of the town and two miles beyond. The regiment remained in camp 
•at this place for six weeks, and then marched to Bealington, as part of 
Gen. Morris' command. Here some skirmishing was had with the 
enemy's pickets, and a reconnoissanee to the right and rear of their line 
' made by a force of 500 men of the Seventh and Ninth Indiana, under 
Col. Dumont. On the night of July 11, the rebels retreated from the 
front of our troops, and in the morning the pursuit commenced— the 
Seventh being in the rear— and was continued until 2 o'clock in the 
afternoon, our forces halting at Leedsville. While here Capt. Blair and 
Lieut. Tucker captured three rebel prisoners. The next morning the 
march was resumed to St. George-Cheat River being forded on the 
way. At Carrick's Ford the crossing was resisted by Gen. Garnett, 
which was promptly met by the tire of the Fourteenth Ohio, Col' 
Steadman, stationed on the bank of the river opposite the enemy.' The 
Seventh Indiana then advanced and charged down the banks of the 
river, crossed over, captured the enemy's baggage, and hiirried on in 
pursuit of the retreating rebels. At the next ford, three quarters of a 
mile from Carrick's Ford, the enemy made another stand, under the 
personal command of Gen. Garnett. The resistance was brief, the 
rebels flying and leaving their commander dead on the field. Col.' Du- 
mont continued the pursuit for two miles and then halted for the night. 
The next day the Seventh took up the line of march to St. George and 
from thence to Bealington. After a few days' rest it was ordered to 
Indianapolis, where it was mustered out of service. 

Company C, of the Seventh Regiment Indiana Infantry (threel years' 
service) had for its successive commissioned officers from "ohioj County: 


Capt. Solomon Waterman. First Lieut. Jerome B. Williams ^ 

Capt. David Lostutter, Jr. First Lieut. Orville W. Williams v 

Capt. Hugh Jamison. First Lieut. Robert E. Hall. 

Capt. Orville D. Williams. First Lieut. Thomas M Dodd 

Capt. Robert E. Hall. Second Lieut. SamueJ S. Lynn 

First Lieut. David Lostutter, Jr. Second Lieut. Hugh Jamison 

First Lieut. Samuel S. Lynn. Second Lieut. Jerome B. Williams ^ 

First Lieut. Hugh Jamison. Second Lieut. John W. Dodd. 

The enlisted men were: 

First Sergt. Hugh Jamison. Corp. Henry Stealing. 

Sergt. Jerome B. Williams. Corp. Marcus C. Wallier. 

Sergt. Julius C. Pearson. Corp. Abel C. Pepper French 

Sergt. Orville D. Williams. Corp. Henry T. Hayman. 

Sergt. Thomas M. Dodd. Corp. Jacob J. Burnett. 

Corp. Calvin F. Monroe. Musician James F. Lemon. 

Corp. John W. Dodd. Musician George W. Righter 

Corp. George W. Lemon. Wagoner William Abbott. 




Allen, Isaac M. 
Allen, Nath'l M. C. 
Bennett, George W. 
Burns, Richard 
Bradshaw, Mason B. 
Campbell, Sam. M. 
Carpenter, Dan. T. 
Clark, George 
Clark, William H. 
Collins, John 
Collins, Armstrong 
Conaway, Joseph 
Conradd, John 
Craft, Israel Loriny 
Crandall, Reed N. 
Delph, Jonas T. 
Delph, Willis M. 
Dugle, William H. 
Dugle, Samuel 
Eastman, Philip 
Eggleston, Aaron D. 

Fisher, Charles 
Fox, James M. 
Gibbous, Oliver P. 
Grace, Richard D. 
Hall, Robert Elwood 
Hare, William 
Hodges, John 
Holcraft, Jeremiah 
Holden, William G. 
Huston, James C. 
Huston, Isaac M. 
Israel, Elijah 
Jones, David 
Kelley, John M. 
Kittle, William H. 
Lambert, William 
Lemon, Henry Clay 
Lewis, Robert B. 
Loder, James W. 
Longwood, Mort. S. 
Majors, John 

Marker, Harmon H. 
McCullough, H. H. 
McKnight, John 
Miller, Benj. Jr. 
Mitchell, Robert B. 
Monroe, William 
Mullen, William 
Nieman, Martin F. 
Oatman, William 
Otenchultz, H. 
Pate, Charles E. 
Pate, Jackson I. 
Pearce, William H. 
Pink, Archibald I. 
Powell, John H. 
Randall, Alex., Sr. 
Randall, Alex., Jr. 
Reinhardt, Herman 
Richmond, Peter S. 
Rieman, William 

Schwertzfezer, F. 
Simons, Theodore L. 
Stewart, Charles L. 
Sterling, Charles W. 
Stopher, Andrew J. 
Summers, Frank 
Tinker, James M. 
Tinker, James 
Thompson, Martin 
Tuttle, Sanford 
Tyler, Nathan 
W^alton, William H. 
Walker, William 
Welch, Benjamin F. 
Williams, Alex. B. 
Williamson, J. 
Williamson, Albert 
Wilson. James S. 
Winn, Peter 
Yonge, Robert G. 

Armstrong, G. M. 
Courtney. M. H. 
Gibbins, William 
Hewitt, George 
Keller, Jacob S. 

Kelly, Oliver P. 
Lee, John C. 
Longwood, Theo. 
Miles, Thomas L. 

Mier, William F. 
North, Pinkney A. 
Pugh, Sampson M. 
Sink, William F. 

Williams, Charles 
Williams, Oliver G. 
Wilson, James 
Williamson, J. 

The regiment was reorganized at Indianapolis, and was mustered in 
for three years' service, September 13, 1861, with Ebenezer Dumont as 
colonel. It moved at once into Western Virginia and joined Gen. Key- 
nolds' command at Cheat Mountain. On the 3d of October, it participated 
in the battle of Green Brier, and soon after moved up the Shenandoah 
Valley, camping near Green Spring Run. At Winchester it was engaged 
in the battle of Winchester Heights, March 23, 1862, and also in the en- 
gagements at Port Republic on the 9th of June, and at Front Royal on 
the 12th of the same month. It then marched to Fredericksburgh and 
back again to the Shenandoah, under Gen. Shields, after which it was 
assigned to Gen. McDowell's command. The regiment was with Gen. 
Pope's forces in the campaign of the Army of Virginia, participating in 
the tight at Slaughter Mountain, August 9, 1862, and the second battle of 
Bull Run on the 30th of August. The regiment was engaged in the pur- 
suit of Lee during the invasion of Maryland, and took part in the battle of 
Antietam, on the 17th of September, losing two killed and eight wounded. 
It was next engaged at Ashby's Gap, or Union, on the 2d of November, 
suifering a loss of four killed and six wounded. It participated in the 


battle of Fredei'icksburgh, under Gen. Burnside, on the 13th of Decem- 
ber. During the next year's campaign the Seventh was engaged in the 
great battles at Chancellorsville, on the 2d, 3d, 4th and 5th of May, and 
at Gettysburg on the 1st, 2d, 3d and 4th of July, losing heavily in both en- 
gagements. At the close of the campaign of 1863, it participated in the bat- 
tle of Mine Run, November 30. The spring of 1864 found the Seventh 
in camp at Culpepper, from whence it moved with the Army of the Poto- 
mac in Grant's last great campaign, participating in the following 
battles: in the Wilderness, on the 5th and 6th of May; at Laurel Hill, on 
the 8th of May; at Spottsylvania, on the 10th and 12th of May; at Po 
River,, at North Anna River, on the 25th of May; at Bethesda Church, on 
30th and 31st of May and 1st of June, and at Cold Harbor, on the 3d of 
June. In these engagements the regiment was under fire for eighteen 
days and suffered severely. On the 16th of June it crossed the James 
River to join the assault on Petersburgh, and was engaged the day follow- 
ing in the desperate but unsuccessful attempt to carry the rebel works at 
that place. Here the regiment remained, participating in the siege of 
Petersburgh until the 18th of August, when it moved with that portion 
of the army, selected for the purpose, on the Weldon Railroad, with the 
view of cutting the same, and was engaged in the battle near Yellow 
House, on the 19th of August. On the 23d of September, in pursuance 
of orders from the general commanding the corps to which it was 
attached, the Seventh Regiment was consolidated with the Nineteenth 
regiment of Indiana Volunteers, and afterward, on the 18th 6t October, 
this new oi'ganization was again consolidated with the Twentieth Regi- 
ment Indiana Volunteers. Upon the final discharge of the Twentieth, 
July 12, 1865, the veterans and recruits that had been transferred to 
it from the Seventh Regiment, were also mustered out, and on the 
same day returned to Indianapolis with it for final payment. 

Company C, of the Eighty- third Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infan- 
try, had for its successive commissioned officers: 
Capt.Metellus Calver?, Rising Sun. First Lieut. Wm. H. Smith. 

Capt. Benj. North, Grant's Greek. First Lieut. E.G. North, Grant's Creek. 

Capt. Wra. H. Smith, Rising Sun. Second Lieut. T. Shehane, Fairwiew. 

First Lieut. Benj. North. Second Lieut. Eli Harrison, Rising Sun. 

The enlisted men were: 
First Sergt. Wm. H. Smith. Corp. John J. Douglass.* 

Sergt. Ernest C. North.* Corp. John Monroe. 

Sergt. Edmund Miller.* Corp. Wm. P. Conner. 

Sergt. Riley Brumly. Corp. John D. Sams.* 

Sergt. Eli Harrison. Corp. Pleasant M. Shafer. 

Corp. John Bennett. Musician-David C. Thorn. 

Corp. James Kay. Musician Jacob Hess.* 

Corp. Wm. H. North.* Wagoner Daniel K. Crandall. 




Douglass, Wm. B.* Kyle, Robert* 

Drake, Jonathan* 
Drake, Lemuel* 
Englehart, H. D. 
Facemire, J. W.* 
Fish, Martin* 
Fisher, Wm. H. 
Gregorj^ John W. 
Hamilton, M. T.* 
Harman, Jacob* 
Harris, Hosier J.* 
Hatfield, Abner* 
Hess, Frederick* 
Hewitt, Joseph M. 

Lare, John C. 
Lewis, Samuel J. 
Long, Peter 
Mead, Edwin R.* 
Miller, James E. 
Miller, Benj. F. 
Monroe, Henry 

Moore, George 
Moreland, James 

Myers, Jonathan 

Neal. Chris C. 

Nettle, Geo. W. 

Korth, James M.'^ 

Hewitt, Henry VPalmer, Henry W. 
House, James* Parker, Oscar 

House, Michael* Pocock, Reuben* 
Hutchinson, R. D.* Rains, Franklin 
James, Ernest* Read, Wm. H. 

Koons, John D. Reed, John A. 

Rex. Wm. 
Rice, John W. 
Robinson, C* 
Rodgers, John T. 
Rollins, Benj. F. 
Rusk. James W.* 
Sedam, Charles 
Shafer, C. B.* 
Shafer, Thos. J. 
Shelley, Silas* 
Shelley, Joseph* 
Shipman, James O. 
Smith, John* 
Steele, John A. 
^ Tarbox, Nelson* 
Theas, Ernest H. 
Waldon. Wm.* 
Ward, John 
Weathers, John S. 
Winters, Jeremiah. 


Herrick, Joseph Hummel, E. 
Howard, John Pryor, Wm. 


Scott, Theodore* 
Ward, Joseph. 

Bailey, Wm. G.* 
Bailey, Daniel J.* 
Beaty, John W.* 
Brey, Orrin O.* 
Bruner, John F. 
Bruner, Marion 
Callahan John M. 
Clark, Jacob 
Cloud, Wm. 
Cloud, Daniel 
Cochran, Oliver P. 
Conaway, John W. 
Conrad, Neal. 
Coary, Samuel H. 
Crouch, Joshua R. 
Davis, Lanson* 
Dodson, Joseph* 
Dodson, Wm. 
Dorman, Edward 
Douglass, Geo. K.'* 
Douglass, Arthur* 

Davis, Aaron S 
Fabian, John 
Qaskill, Owen S. 

The above company was not made up entirely of men from Ohio 
County, a number being from adjoining territory, principally from 
Switzerland County. Sixty-two men and officers are claimed from Ohio 
County in the company. Those marked with a star are from adjoining 
territory. Of the recruits, only the residence of Scott and Ward are 

The Eighty-third Regiment was organized at Lawrenceburgh,in Sep- 
tember, 1862, with Benjamin J. Spooner as colonel, and in a few weeks 
after left the State for the Mississippi River. The organization was 
composed of nine companies of volunteers for three years, and one com- 
pany of drafted men. The latter was discharged from service at the 
expiration of nine months from the 15th of November, 1862. Upon 
reaching Memphis the regiment was assigned to duty with the army then 
operating in west Tennessee, and participated in the march to the Talla- 
hatchie, and the first campaign against Vicksburg in December. In 
the latter campaign it was actively engaged in the assault upon the 
enemy's works at Chickasaw Bayou. 

In January, 1863, it proceeded up the Mississippi with the expedi- 
tionary force sent into Arkansas, and was engaged in the storming and 
capture of Arkansas Post, on the Uth of January. After this it joined 


Gen. Grant's army, then occupying Milliken's Bend and Young's Point, 
and took part in the preliminary operations that opened the campaign 
against Vicksburg. In the latter part of March it moved with the army 
in its march to the rear of Vicksburg, and after crossing to the east side 
of the Mississippi, engaged in the battle of Champion Hills, on the 16th 
of May. The regiment then went into the entrenched works, fronting 
those of the enemy at Vicksburg, and remained therein, almost con- 
stantly on duty, until the capitulation of the enemy on the 4th of 
July. While there it took part in the assaults upon the rebel works on 
the 19th and 22d of May. The regiment next marched to Jackson, and 
participated in the siege and capture of that place. 

Upon the termination of the Vicksburg campaign, the Eighty-third 
proceeded up the Mississippi, with Sherman's army, to Memphis, and 
from thence marched across the country to Chattanooga, where, on the 
25th of November, it participated in the great victory over the enemy at 
Mission Ridge. During the winter of 1863 the regiment remained in 
camp in the vicinity of Cleveland, Tenn., and in the spring following, 
engaged in the Atlanta campaign. Marching with the Army of the 
Tennessee, southward to Atlanta, it was actively engaged in all the 
movements of that successful campaign, engaging in the battles at 
Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, the repulse of 
Hood's army on the 22d and 28th of July, near Atlanta, and the battle 
of Jonesboro. After the occupation of Atlanta, the Eighty-third moved 
northward in pursuit of Hood's army, and after aiding in driving the 
enemy into northern Alabama, returned to Atlanta. 

In November Sherman's army commenced its march through Georgia 
to Savannah, and the Eighty-third moved with it, reaching Savannah on 
the 21st of December. In the assault upon and capture of Fort Mc- 
Allister, near Savannah, the regiment was engaged, thus opening Sher- 
man's communications with the sea. It next proceeded to Beaufort, 
from whence it marched through the Carolinas to Goldsboro, engaging 
the enemy at Columbia, S. C, and Bentonville, N. C. 

Upon the conclusion of active military operations in those States, the 
regiment moved to Washington City, marching through Raleigh, Peters- 
burgh, Richmond and Fredericksburgh. At Washington it formed a 
portion of the marching column at the grand review of Sherman's 
heroes, and on the 3d of June, 1865, was mustered out of service, and 
proceeded homeward. Reaching Indianapolis, it was present at a grand 
reception given to returned soldiers in the capitol grounds on the 9th of 
June. On this occasion addresses were made by Gov. Morton, Gen, 
Hovey and Col. Ben Spooner. 

The remaining recruits, upon the muster out of the organization at 



Washington, was transferred to the Forty-eighth Indiana, and continued 
to serve with that regiment until its miigter out at Louisville, Ky., 
July 15, 1865. 

The Eighty-third has traveled over 4,000 miles by land, 1,800 upon 
steamboats and 485 by rail, making a total of 6,285 miles traveled 
during its term of service. It has been engaged in several minor battles 
and skirmishes in addition to those mentioned in this sketch, and has 
been under tire for over 200 days. 

The Second Battery Light Artillery, Indiana Volunteers, was organ- 
ized at Indianapolis, on the 5th of August, and mustered into service 
August 9, 1861, with David G. Rabb, Rising Sun, as captain. Its suc- 
cessive commissioned officers were: 

Capt. David G. Rabb. 

Capt. Johu W. Rabb, Rising Sun. 

Capt. Hugh Espey, Jr., Rising Sun. 

First Lieut. John W. Rabb. 

First Lieut. M. K. Haines, Rising Sun. 

First Lieut. Hugh Espey, Jr. 

First Lieut. M. H. Masterson, Salem. 

First Lieut. Wm.W. Haines, Rising Sun. 

On the reorganization of the battery the successive commissioned 
officers were: 

Capt. James S. Whicher. Second Lieut. John Stewart. 

First Lieut. George B. Sink. Second Lieut. John Heardon, Huntsville. 

First Lieut. John Stewart, Lewisville. Second Lieut.C.W. Johnson, Indianapolis. 

The enlisted men from Ohio County, as nearly as can be obtained 
(the place of residence of probably one half of the battery not given in 
the adjutant-general's report) were as follows: 

First Lieut. J. S. Whicher, Indianapolis. 
Second Lieut. Hugh Espey, Jr. 
Second Lieut. Mathew H. Masterson. 
Second Lieut. William W. Haines. 
Second Lieut. James S. Whicher. 
Second Lieut. John L. Miles, Rising Sun. 
Second Lieut. George B. Sink, Rising Sun. 

First Sergt. William W. Haines. 
Q. M.-Sergt. John L. Miles. 
Sergt. Abner McFarland. 
Sergt. George B. Sink. 
Sergt. William P. Harris. 
Corp. James Buchanan. 


Barricklow, George Knollman, Henry Ammen, Wm. P 

Corp. DeWitt C. Bonnell. 
Corp. Jesse H. Jones. 
Corp. Samuel Mullen. 
Bugler Benjamin F. Pepper. 
Artificer James M. Long. 

Barricklow, Fred McArthur, Jerome Arford, James R 

Buchanan, Perry Mitcliell, John 

Carlisle, Wm. H. Peaslee, Abraham 

Carpenter, John S. Reed, James S. 

Downey, Rufus K. Rupker, Frederick Clore, James 

Eastman, Wm. E. Scott, Samuel E. Conner, Robert C 

Fowler. Henry Scoggin, Elisha Craft, George A. 

Hall, Peter Summers, Henry Corson, Eli 

Hasbough, L. Vehouse, Frederick Dugal, Samuel 

Hunt, Martin V. Volkman, Henry Gillis, William H. 

Hewitt, William 
Mapes, George 
Burgas, Levi H. Pate, Smith 
Campbell, Sam. M. Ricketts, Robert 
Campbell, Hudson Rabb, George J. 

Steele, William A. 
Spore, Isaac 
Spore, George W. 
Todd, Thomas E. 
Todd, James. 


Fifty-five men are claimed to have served from the county in the 
above battery. 

On the 5th of September the battery left Indianapolis by rail for St. 
Louis, where it went into camp until the 25th of September, when it 
embarked on a steamer and proceeded up the Missouri River to Jefferson 
City. Disembarking at that place, it encamped in the vicinity until the 
4th of October, and then marched with part of Gen. Hunter's division to 
Tipton. Remaining there until the 17th, it moved southward, passing 
near Versailles and through Warsaw to Mount View, and thence to Spring- 
field, Mo. 

From Springfield it moved into Kansas, going into quarters at Fort 
Leavenworth daring the winter, and in the spring of 1862 moving to 
Fort Scott. On the 28d of May, the battery marched from Fort Scott 
to lola, Kas., where it remained in camp until the 1st of June, and then 
marched to Baxter's Springs, on Spring River, in the Indian Territory. 
On the 5th, with four pieces of the battery, a detachment marched with 
an expedition from Baxter's Springs to Round Grove, on Cow Skin Prai- 
rie, in Cherokee Nation, where, coming upon the enemy's force, under 
Col. Coffee, a fight ensued about dark on the 5th. The enemy was 
routed, after the firing of six rounds of shot and shell, and a large 
amount of live stock, equipage and munitions of war captured. On the 
28th of June, the battery marched from Baxter's Springs with Col. Sol- 
omon's brigade, upon an expedition against the rebel Indians. Moving 
southward into the Cherokee Nation, the enemy under Gen. Rains was 
encountered at Round Grove, and before our forces could attack them, 
the enemy fled. Returning to Fort Scott, the battery took part in sev- 
eral expeditions sent out from that place. It engaged the enemy at Lone 
Jack, Mo., on the 9th of September, and at Newtonia, Mo., October 10. 

Moving into Arkansas, it participated in engagements with the ene- 
my at Fort Wayne, on the 28th of October; at Cane Hill, on the 27th of 
November; at Prairie Grove, on the 7th to 9th of December, and at Van 
Buren on the 29th of December. During the following spring the bat- 
tery was stationed at Springfield, Mo., from whence, in July, 1863, the 
greater portion was detached and sent to the field in Arkansas and 
Indian Territory. On the 28th of August this detachment took part in 
the battle at Perryville, in the Choctaw Nation, and on the 1st of Sep- 
tember it was engaged in the fight at Cotton Gap, Ark. The battery 
again united, participated in the battle of Buffalo Mountain, on the 25th 
of October, ^fter which it moved to Waldron and Fort Smith, Ark. In 
January, 1864, a small portion of men re-enlisted as veteran volunteers. 
The battery continued to operate in western Arkansas during the winter, 
spring and summer of 1864. On the 11th and 12th of April it engaged 


the enemy at Prairie de Ann, Ark, and on the 13th at Moscow, Ark. On 
the 18th of the same month it participated in the battle of Poisoned 
Spring, Ark., in which it lost two guns, and on the 28th it fought the 
enemy at Mark's Mills, Ark. On the 29th and 30th of April, it again 
engaged the enemy at Jenkins' Ferry on Saline River, after which it 
moved to Fort Smith. At this place on the 29fch, 30th and 31st of July, 
it took part in the battles fought in defense of the fort, and assisted in 
defeating the enemy. In September it returned to Indianapolis, where 
the non-veterans were mustered out of service, and the organization 
broken up. 

The battery was reorganized at Indianapolis, on the 18th of Octo- 
ber, 1864, with James S. Whicher (first lieutenant of the old organiza- 
tion) as captain. In December it proceeded to Nashville, Tenn., where 
it remained until the latter part of June, 1865. While there it took 
part in the battle at Nashville on the 15th and 16th of December, 1864. 
Returning to Indianapolis, with 113 men for muster out, it was present 
at a reception given to the returned soldiers in the capitol grounds on 
the 30th of June, at which speeches were made by Lieut. -Gov. Baker, 
Gen. Hovey and others. On the 3d of July, 1865, the battery was mus- 
tered out, and the officers and men finally discharged. During the term 
of service of the two organizations, the Second Battery marched 11,500 
miles and lost one officer and twenty seven men killed. 

Company B, Fourth Cavalry (Seventy- seventh Indiana Volunteers) 
had for its successive commissioned officers as follows: 
Capt. .John A. Platter. Second Lieut. William T. Pepper. 

Capt.William T. Pepper (of Rising Sun). Second Lieut. .John H. Thompson. 
Capt. John H. Thompson. Second Lieut. William H. H. Isgri^a;g. 

First Lieut. William H. Bracken. 

The enlisted men from Ohio County as nearly as can be obtained 
(the place of residence and the company not given in the adjutant-gen- 
eral's report) were: 

Williams, Oliver H. Clark, Joseph M. Harryman, Samuel Shoup, George 
Barker, Philip B. French, George W. Jameison, Robert A. Smith, George W. 
Hall, D. B. Fox, Frank Lambdin,WilliamT. Smith, William F. 

Newman, George W. Harris, James Myers, James Whitlock, John T. 

Scoggin, Elijah Harris, Charles M. Miles, James Youge, William 

Barman, Marmaduke Hoover, Robert McAlister, Edward 

Bedgood, Alfred Hayman, GeorgeW. Spore, Isaac 


Bowman, Isaac Lemon. George W. Parker, Oscar Spore, Samuel 

Jackson, Albion Neal, Jacob Richmond, Eli S. St. Clair, Henry. 

The Seventy-seventh Regiment was organized at Indianapolis on the 
22d of August, 1862, with Isaac P. Gray as colonel. On the comple- 


tion of its organization the aspect of affairs in Kentucky was so threat- 
ening that the regiment was divided, four companies being sent under 
command of Maj. John A. Platter to Henderson, Ky., and the remain- 
ing companies to Louisville, from whence they were ordered into the in- 
terior, where they were joined by Col. Gray. 

The battalion under command of Maj. Platter had a skirmish with 
the enemy at Madisonville, Ky., on the 26th of August, and again at 
Mount Washington, on the 1st of October, in which a number were 
killed and wounded. On the 5th of October it engaged the rebels at 
Madisonville, suffering some loss. In the spring of 1863 this battalion 
joined the other companies, and after this the regiment served together, 
with the exception of Company C, which became the escort for Gen. A. 
J. Smith, and followed the fortunes of that officer's command. 

During the invasion of Bragg,'a portion of the battalion under the 
command of Col. Gray, went into camp for a brief period near Madi- 
son, Ind. , and moved from thence to Vevay, near which place it crossed 
the Ohio River and moved, on a tour of duty, through Owen, Henry and 
adjoining Counties, Kentucky, reaching Frankfort about the 24th of Oc- 
tober. Soon after the companies of this battalion were stationed at Gal- 
latin, from whence they moved after John H. Morgan's forces toward Green 
River. On the 25th of December the battalion fought Morgan near 
Mumfordsville and defeated him, suffering a slight loss. Moving into 
Tennessee in January, 1863, it reached Murfreesboro in February, in 
which vicinity it operated for some months, fighting the enemy at Ruther- 
ford's Creek, on the 10th of March. On the 28th of March it was act- 
ively engaged in feeling the enemy near Murfreesboro. At this time 
the battalion was commanded by Col. L. S. Shuler. The regiment, now 
united, moved with Rosecrans in the campaign toward Tullahoma and 
Chattanooga, participating in the battle of Chickamauga on the 19th 
and 20th of September, and again engaging the enemy on the 23d of 
September. Crossing the Tennessee, it fought the rebels at Fay ettevi lie, 
Tenn., on the 1st of November, losing a few of its members. 

The regiment marched into east Tennessee early in December, where 
it remained during the winter of 1863-64. During this campaign it 
held the advanced position in all the cavalry movements, and was con- 
spicuously engaged in the battles of Mossy Creek, Talbott's and Dund 
ridge, for which it was highly complimented in the reports of brigade 
and division commanders. On the 27th of January, 1864, a severe fight 
occurred at Fair Garden between the division to which it was attached 
and two rebel divisions, the latter having been driven during the day 
eight miles. Capt. Rosecrans, with the second battalion of the Fourth 
Cavalry, dismounted as skirmishers, charged with the Second Indiana 


and First Wisconsin Cavalry (also dismounted) on the enemy's skirmish- 
ers. Maj. Purdy, with the first battalion supported by Lilly's Eighteenth 
Indiana Battery, and the remaining four companies of the Fourth Cav- 
alry, were ordered to a "sabre charge" on a rebel battery. This charge 
was led by Lieut. -Col. Leslie, and resulted in the capture of the battery, 
one battle flag and more prisoners than the charging party had men 
engaged. The enemy were completely routed, and fled in disorder to 
the mountains. Lieut. -Col. Leslie fell while gallantly leading his men 
on to victory, pierced through the breast with a rebel bullet. The other 
losses to the regiment were but few. 

In March the regiment arrived at Cleveland, Tenn., and in May 
moved with the cavalry of Sherman's army in ' the campaign against 
Atlanta. On the 9th of May, it fought the enemy at Varnell's Station, 
Ga. , and on the 2d of June it had a skirmish near Burnt Chiirch. It 
next moved on the McCook raid, participating in the tight at Newnan on 
the 31st of July, and in all the movements of that expedition. 

After the capture of Atlanta it marched into Tennessee, and engaged 
the enemy at Columbia, Tenn., in Octobei*. In November it was sta- 
tioned near Louisville, serving with the Second Brigade of the First 
Cavalry Division of the Cavalry Corps of the Military Division of the 
Mississippi. In January, 1865, it was in the vicinity of Nashville, and 
in the following month at Waterloo, Ala. Moving into Alabama with 
Gen. Wilson's forces, it participated in the active campaign in that State 
and Georgia, engaging in the battles of Plantersviile and Selma. Leav- 
ing Macon, Ga., in May, it reached Nashville and went into the Provis- 
ional Cavalry Camp at Edgefield, where it remained until mustered out 
of service on the 29th of June, 1865. After its muster out the regiment 
remained at Nashville a few days until it was finally discharged and paid, 
when the organization was broken up, and the officers and men returned 
to their respective homes without coming to the State capital in a body. 

Company C was detailed to serve as escort to Gen. A. J. Smith, and 
engaged in all the operations of the command of that ofiicer, including 
the campaign and siege of Vicksburg and the Red River expedition. Dur- 
ing the year 1864 it returned to the regiment, aud served with it until its 
final discharge. 

In addition to the above-named companies, Ohio County was repre- 
sented in various other organizations in both the army and navy to the 
number of twenty-five men, making a grand total of 382 enlistments in 
the service from Ohio County. The organizations to which the men 
belonged participated in eighty- four engagements, while the loss of life 
from wounds and disease exceeded 100. The county sustained an hon- 
orable part, and claims a full share of the glory on the records of the reg- 
iments in which its men fought in the war of the Rebellion. 



The following account of Morgan's Raid is from the Centennial 
address of George W. Morse, delivered at Rising Sun, July 4, 1878: 

"July 7, 1863, Gen. John H. Morgan, of the Confederate army, with 
a mounted force of 3,000 or 4,000 men, and six pieces of artillery, captured 
two steamers, the "J. T. McCoombs" and "Alice Dean," at Brandy wine, 
Ky. Information was sent to Corydon, and Capt. G. W. Lyon, of the 
Indiana Legion, with one gun and thirty men arrived at Mauckport, the 
night of the 8th, when Col. Timberlake took command, having 100 men 
of the legion additional. He proceeded to a point opposite Branden- 
burg, and placed the gun in position by 7 o'clock in the morning. 
As soon as the fog lifted Capt. Lyon sent a shot through the "McCombs", 
and several at the rebels who retreated from her. But Morgan's guns 
were soon returning the tire, killing two men. The forces of the legion 
fell back, and two regiments of rebel soldiers crossed, formed under the 
bank, advanced and charged, taking the gun and several prisoners. Col. 
Timberlake fell back toward Corydon, where all the forces available at 
so short a notice had taken post; these were under the command of Col. 
Lewis Jordan, of the Sixth Legion, and numbered about 400 men. In 
the meantime Morgan crossed his forces, and on the morning of the 9th, 
advanced upon Col. Jordan's, which fell back to within one mile of 
Corydon. Here the tight was maintained for half an hour. When his 
little band was flanked, and in danger of total destruction, he surren- 
dered, loss three men killed, and one fatally and one badly wounded. 
Morgan's loss was eight killed, and thirty-three badly wounded. The 
prisoners were robbed and then paroled. 

" We will not stop to describe the progress of Morgan's forces further, 
but simply relate the incidents connected with Col. Williams' command, 
composed in part of three companies of the Eleventh Regiment, Fourth 
Brigade of the Indiana Legion. 

"On the 8th of September, Brig.-Gen. A. C. Downey received orders 
from Gov. Morton to send as many companies of the legion as possible 
to Seymour, as Morgan had entered Indiana. Col. H. T. Williams 
ordered Capt. J. C. Wells, Jackson Barricklow and John R. Cole, to be 
ready to proceed the next morning. They did so, going by wagon to 
Aurora, and thence by rail to Seymour, where they arrived on the even- 
ing of the 9th. They numbered about 185 men, all told. On the next 
day (July 10) Col. Williams received orders to proceed with all haste 
to Madison. The cars were soon got ready and the command was con- 
veyed back to North Vernon, where information was soon received that 
Morgan's forces were approaching South Vernon. Col. Burkam, with 
several companies of the legion from Dearborn County, remained while 


Col. Williams, with the companies from Ohio County, and a battery of 
two six- pound guns and three rounds of ammunition marched to South 
Vernon. Some difference of opinion on the management of the defense 
seems to have led to this result; the two colonels named, being the high- 
est officers present, adopted separate modes of action. The command 
was halted in a grove of small trees about one- quarter of a mile from 
North Vernon, the men stacking arms and falling out of line. In a few 
minutes a scout came riding swiftly from the direction of the enemy, 
and told the officers: 

" 'Moro-an is coming, is only about three-quarters of a mile east of 

" 'Can yoa tell how many men he has.^' asked the colonel. 

" 'As near as 1 can guess about 6,000," replied the scout. 

" 'I don't care a d — n if there are 60,000, do you 'f' said Oapt. W., 
turning to his orderly. 

" 'Well, no,' replied the latter, 'only it would take longer to kill 
60,000 than it would 6,000.' 

" 'The march was resumed, and in about half an hour, on a bluff 
high bank, the crest of a hill rising suddenly from the margin of the 
Muscatatac River, the company of Capt. Wells stacked arms and fell out 
of line, hard by a stone church or schoolhouse. In a few minutes a 
rapid discharge of musketry was heard, back on the road they had come, 
the line was reformed, the firing ceased, the men standing in momentary 
expectation of an attack. They afterward learned that the tiring they 
had heard was the result of an engagement between a small company of 
movinted citizens and a detachment of Morgan's men sent to destroy the 
telegraph wires, depots, etc., which was in part prevented. 

"Across the Muscatatac, on the crest of a densely wooded hill, not more 
than 4,000 yards from the schoolhouse mentioned, was a battery of four 
pieces Morgan had just planted; it was entirely concealed by the thick 
undergrowth. Capt. Barricklow's company was under the bluff, a little 
further up the creek, and Capt. Cole's lying on the railroad near the 
bridge which spans the creek. Soon after a man with a white flag was 
seen coming across the creek toward the main road leading into the 
town. He was met and escorted to the colonel commanding (H. T. 
Williams), of whom he demanded in the name of Gen. Morgan, an un- 
conditional surrender of the town and the forces under his command. 
Col. Williams' reply was: 'No, you can't take my men, nor the town, 
without a hard fight.' The bearer of the flag returned to Morgan with 
that answer. Soon after another flag was conducted to Col. Williams, 
who ordered its carrier under arrest, he being found within the lines 
without proper escort. Col. Williams immediately sent over to North 


Vernon for aid, in the hope that re- enforcements had arrived. The mes- 
senger met Gen. Love, who had arrived with 1,000 men, who were then 
disembarking from the cars. On arriving at the front, Gen. Love 
ordered the flag set at liberty, at the same time sending the colonel to 
Morgan asking ' two hours time to remove women and children.' In 
reply to this demand Col. Williams was given fifteen minutes to return 
and thirty minutes additional to remove the women and children when 
the battle Avill commence. Capt. Wells' company was placed on the 
railroad track, the high embankment of which was a good breast- work, 
and as night settled over the scene a solemn silence came with it. 

"All of Col. Williams' men and Col. Burkams', they having come 
from North Vernon, now lay along the railroad track, and as the time 
approached for the struggle to begin, it would be idle to say there was 
no anxiety, no apprehension. Suddenly, on the hill where the masked 
battery had been planted by Morgan, there were two explosions heard, 
following each other so rapidly they nearly blended in one — a shell had 
been tired from a cannon; this was supposed to be the signal to begin 
the battle. Soon the regular tread of a column of infantry was heard 
(for it was too dark to see), tramp — tramp— it passed, and word was 
brought that it was a Michigan regiment — 800 strong. 

"The sky had been getting red, and now began to cast back to the 
earth the glare of the many tires in the camp of the enemy. It should 
have been stated that there was a mistake with one of the Dearborn 
County companies, at about the time the attack was expected. Some of 
the inhabitants had collected the cattle and horses in the town and drove 
them furiously to the ford of the Muscatatae, intending to drive them 
across and save them. The company stationed at this ford imagined it 
was the onset of the enemy, and in the darkness and confusion of this 
night attack, went over the bank, falling a distance of fifteen or twenty 
feet, badly injuring a number of them. The night wore away without 
any further alarms, save the explosion of a caisson on the hill mentioned 
before; morning came— forty pieces of artillery were then ready to 
belch death and destruction, on many regiments of men eager for the 
fray — but Morgan— where was he? In the foremost ranks of his flying 
columns, miles eastward, near Versailles — they hardly knew of his de- 
parture — he could not delay to call in the pickets, the lines were tight- 
ening around him — a great many horses were also taken. The next 
day the advance was made on foot to Sunman Station, where it was 
found that Morgan had already crossed the line into Ohio, The regi- 
ment proceeded to Lawrenceburgh, and thence home to Ohio County. 

"We close the account of the raid by 7naking one extract from Gen. 
Love's report to Gov. Morton, dated July 20, 1863. He says: ' It is 


due to Col. Williams and his gallant regiment from Ohio County to say, 
with only 200 men of his regiment, and the armed citizens of Jennings 
County he refused to surrender Vernon to Morgan's force of 4,500 with 
five pieces of artillery. * * * The failure to take Vernon was the 
first check he had received since entering our State.' " 

In the report of W. H. H. Terrell, adjutant-general of Indiana, of 
the Morgan raid in the State in July, 1863, it is stated that " at 5 o'clock 
July 13, Morgan moved eastwardly from his bivouac a few miles from 
Sunman's, in the direction of the Ohio line, crossing the railroad at 
three stations— Harmon's, Van Weddon's and Weisburg. The bridges 
and track at all three places were destroyed, and a water tank at Van 
Weddon's burned. Passing rapidly on by Hubbell's Corner, New Alsace, 
Dover and Logan, the rebel advance reached Harrison, Ohio, a little 
after 12 o'clock noon." 

Concerning the action and behavior of the raiders as they passed 
through Harrison, says the author of the History of Hamilton County, 
Ohio, "about 1 o'clock in the afternoon of the 13th (July), the advance 
of the rebel command was seen streaming down the hillsides on the west 
side of the valley, and the alarm was at once given in the streets of 
Harrison. Citizens hastened at once to secrete valuables and run off 
their horses, but in a very few moments the enemy was swarming all 
over the town. The raiders generally behaved pretty well, offering few 
insults to the people and maltreating no woman or other person. They 
secured what horses they could, thronged the stores, taking whatever 
they fancied. One gentleman, who kept a drug store, was despoiled of 
nothing but soap and perfumery. Similar incidents were related of 
other shops in the village, and from one and another a large amount of 
goods in the aggregate was taken, but there was no robbery from house 
to house or from the person; and after-a few hours' stay, having refreshed 
themselves and their horses and gained all desired information, the head 
of the column began to tile out of the village in the direction of Cincin- 
nati on the Harrison turnpike. ' ' 

The accident that occurred at Lawrenceburgh during the " raid" was 
thus described by the late adjutant-general above referred to: 

"The resistance and pursuit of the rebels was as nearly bloodless as 
any hostile movement on so large a scale could be, but it was destined to 
cause more bloodshed after its departure than it did by its presence. 
On the evening of the 13th, Col. Gavin, in command at Lawrenceburgh, 
havino- been informed that Morgan had taken Harrison and had turned 
back and was advancing upon Lawrenceburgh, took prompt measures to 
meet him. He sent out his own regiment, the One Hundred and Fourth, 
half a mile beyond Hardintown, on the turnpike, where a strong barricade 


was constructed, and a line of battle was formed along the towpath of 
the canal so as to use the canal bank as a defense. Col. Shryock's reg- 
iment, the One Hundred and Fifth, was ordered to take position half a 
mile in the rear. About 9 o'clock at night, while marching to the 
assigned position through a very short curve in the road at Hardintown, 
the rear of the column seeing the head indistinctly in the darkness, and 
unaware of the curve which threw the men in front on a line parallel 
with those in the rear, mistook it for a portion of the expected enemy's 
force, and a shot accidentally fired at the moment made the impression so 
strong, that they fired into thg advance. The advance, of course, mis- 
took the fire for that of the enemy and returned it. Col. Shryock 
instantly rode down the line to stop the firing, telling the men that they 
were killing their comrades, but though promptly obeyed he was too late 
to prevent a serious catastrophe. Five men were killed, one mortally 
and eighteen more or less wounded, the following is a list of the casual- 
ties caused by this sad mistake: 

Killed. — Sergeant, John Gordon; privates, Oliver P. Jones, William 
Faulkner, Ferdinand Hefner and John Porter. 

Wounded. — Captains, A. K. Branham and William Nicholson; 
lieutenants, William E. Hart (mortally), Samuel Bewsey and Joel New- 
man; sergeants, Richard M. Baker, John Pyle and James E. Bates; 
privates, Samuel E. Duncan, Edmund Bloomfield, Martin Hoover, Will- 
iam Flint, David S. Gooding, W. G. Johnson, D. W. Parish, R. T. 
Raines, Jabez Wilson, Allen R. Bates and Hart." 


The war called for so large a proportion of the entire male popula- 
tion that the quota was not in all cases filled without difiiculty. Drafts 
and the offer of large bounties to volunteers were found necessary, hence 
many of the recruits on being mustered into service received considera- 
ble bounty. 

The draft assignment of October 6, 1862, to Dearborn County was as 
follows: Harrison Township, 22; Logan Township, 22; Kelso Township, 
44; Jackson Township, 14; Cesar Creek Township, 6. 

The men who filled the quota of Dearborn County were, with the 
exception of an inconsiderable fraction, volunteers. The county, with a 
total militia enrollment, in September, 1862, of 3,252 had 1,753 volun- 
teers, 1,528 of whom were then in the field, requiring the following 
month the draft only of 108 men. 

Ohio County, with a total militia enrollment, in September, 1862, of 
796 had 387 volunteers, 299 of whom were in the field, requiring the 



following month the draft of only 15 men, the draft assignment being 
to Cass Township. 


Exhibit showing the amounts expended for local bounties, for relief 
of soldiers' families, and for miscellaneous military purposes by the 
county and townships during the war: 


County, City or Township. 

Dearborn County 

Harrison Township 

Logan Township 

Miller Township 

Lawrenceburgh Township. 

Center Township 

Hogan Township 

Manchester Township 

York Township 

Kelso Township 

Jackson Township 

Sparta Township 

Cesar Creek Township . . . . 

Clay Township 

Washington Township 

Lawrenceburgh City 

Aurora Citj^ 

Dearborn County total. 
Grand total 








623 00 
750 00 
350 00 
100 00 
000 00 
833 00 

500 00 
090 00 
920 00 
950 00 
336 10 
230 00 

600 00 
,600 00 
,423 00 

$38,283 21 

400 00 

150 00 

1,150 00 

15.000 00 

17,250 00 

1,078 00 

3,500 00 

300 00 

325 00 

1,126 85 

2,732 00 

125 00 

425 00 

136 50 

54 86 

11,300 00 

$295,305 10 $93,335 45 


$396,016 17 

375 62 

7,000 00 

$7,375 62 


County, City or Township. 




Alii A Pnnntv 

$37,000 00 

11,800 00 

4,800 00 

9,375 00 

5,600 00 

$4,769 78 

$424 95 

Pace Tnwzn'shin 

54 95 
333 64 

75 00 

Ohio County total 

$68,575 00 1 $5,158 37 

$499 95 

S^74.2,33 32 


Various aid societies were organized throughout the counties during 
the war, and through the efforts of the ladies, many delicacies and com- 
forts were sent to the field. The Aurora Soldiers' Aid Society as a branch of 
the Cincinnati Sanitary Commission was organized in March, 1862. The 
Moore's Hill Soldiers' Aid Society was organized by the ladies soon after 


the intelligence of the battle of Fort Donelson, was received, in the spring 
of 1862. In April, 1862, the ladies on Ebenezer Ridge, and on Wilson 
Creek and vicinity, met and organized a Ladies' Sanitary Association 
The Soldiers' Relief Society of Lawrenceburgh Township, was organized 
December 22, 1864 Similar societies were formed elsewhere, and all did a 
noble work. The report of the Soldiers' Aid Society of Lawrenceburgh 
Township made in July, 1865, showed receipts of $556.48. 

CLOSING Scenes. 

The following extract from the Aurora Commercial oi April 13, 1865, 
will give the reader an idea of the manner in which the news of the sur- 
render of Gen. Lee and his army was received by the people of Aurora: 
"Last Monday was a day of wild excitement in this city. The news of 
Lee's surrender, following so quickly upon the capture of Richmond, was 
almost too much of a good thing, and produced demonstrations on the 
part of some of our patriotic citizens, that would under other circum- 
stances, be disproportionate to their years. The cannons were brought 
out, the bells were rung, houses illuminated, and the town poured its 
population into the streets, to witness the display and exchange cono-rat- 
ulations. Songs, speeches, and shouts of joy and praise, were indulged 
in until a late hour, when all retired to their homes to dream of the peace 
and prosperity in store for our beloved country." 

The Commercial of April 20, 1865, referring to the assassination of 
President Abraham Lincoln, remarked: " The news of the assassination 
of President Lincoln has produced a deep impression in this community; 
every person seems to feel as if he had met with a severe and irreparable 
loss. Last Sabbath|was one of the most mournful and solemn days we 
have ever passed in Aurora. Wherever we would turn, our eyes would 
rest on troubled countenances, which bore the impress of a deep and 
abiding affliction. Men conversed with each other in undertones, and 
even the spirits of the children, too young to know sorrow, seemed to be 
oppi'essed with the universal sadness. We hope we may never see such 
another day. 

"Yesterday nearly our whole population attended the public exercises 
at the Methodist and Lutheran Churches, to pay their last sad tribute to 
the memory of our late Pi'esident. While eloquent speakers discoursed 
of the virtues of the deceased, and of the loss the country has sustained 
in his death, the sobs of women, and the silent tears trickling down the 
cheeks of brave men, told how heavily the blow had fallen upon our 
patriotic people. God grant that they may never again suffer such an 




Territorial Judges of Dearborn County— Circuit Judges of Dear- 
born County— Common Pleas Judges of Dearborn County— Asso 
ciATE Judges of Dearborn County— Probate Judges of Dearborn 
County— Members of the Territorial Legislature— Members 
OF Constitutional Conventions— Members of the State Legisla- 
ture from Dearborn County— Board of Magistrates and County 
Commissioners of Dearborn County— Treasurers of Dearborn 
County — Clerks of Dearborn County— Sheriffs of Dearborn 
County— Auditors of Dearborn County— United States Officers 
—Circuit Judges of Ohio County— Commion Pleas Judges of Ohio 
County — Associate Judges of Ohio County* — Sheriffs of Ohio 
County— Recorders of Ohio County— Clerks of Ohio County- 
Auditors OF Ohio County— Treasurers of Ohio County— County 
Commissioners of Ohio County— Members of the General Assem- 
bly FROM Ohio and Switzerland Counties. 

territorial judges of dearborn county. 

BENJAMIN CHAMBERS, March 7, 1803 to December 14, 1810. 
Jabez Percival, March 8, 1803 to January 6, 1814 
Barnet Hulick, March 7, 1803 to December 14, 1809. 
John Brownson, March 7, 1803 to January 6, 1814. 
Jeremiah Hunt, March 7, 1803. 
Richard Stevens, March 7, 1803. 
William Major, March 7, 1803 to January 6, 1814. 
James McCarty, March 7, 1803. 
Isaac Dunn, March 17, 1812 to February 14, 1817. 
Elijah Sparks, January 16, 1814 (died in May 1815). 
James Noble, appointed to fill the vacancy and served until 1816. 
Jesse L. Holman was also a Territorial judge at the time of the ad- 
mission of Indiana into the Union. 

circuit judges of dearborn county. 
John Test, of Franklin County, 1818-19. 
John Watts, of Dearborn County, 1819-20. 
Miles C. Eggleston, of Jefferson County, 1820-45. 
Courtland Cushing, of Jefferson County, 1845-47. 


George H. Diinn, of Dearborn County, 1847-50. 

William M. McCarty, 1850-53. 

Keuben D. Logan, 1853-65. 

Jeremiah M. Wilson, of Fayette County, 1865-69. 

Robert N. Lamb, 1869-71. 

Henry C. Hanna, 1871-73. 

Omar F. Roberts, of Dearborn County, 1873-79. 

Noah S. Givan, of Dearborn County, 1879-85. 

W. H. Bainbridge, of Dearborn County, 1885. 


William S. Holman, of Dearborn County, 1853-56. 
Charles N. Shook, 1856-61. 
Francis Adkinson, 1861-65, 
Robert N. Lamb, 1865-69. 
Scott Carter, 1869-72. 


Solomon Manwarring, 1816-30. 
John Livingston. 
Isaac Dunn, 1830-38. 
JohnM'Pike, 1830-35. 
Samuel H. Dowden, 1835-38. 
John Livingston, 1838-45. 
Alfred J. Cotton, 1838-45. 
David Conger, 1845-51. 
John A. Emrie, 1845-51. 


George H. Dunn, 1829-31. 
John Livingston, 1831-37. 
John M'Pike, 1837. 
John Palmer, 1837-43. 
Theodore Gazlay, 1843. 
William S. Holman, 1843-47. 
Alfred J. Cotton, 1847-52. 


The first Territorial Legislature met at Vincennes July 29, 1805. 
Benjamin Chambers, of Dearborn County, was president of the Legisla- 
tive Council, and Jesse B. Thomas, of the same county, speaker of the 
House of Representatives. 


The Second Territorial Legislature met September 26, 1808. Jesse 
B. Thomas, of Dearborn County, was again speaker of the House. 

The Third Territorial Legislature met November 10, 1810. 

The Fourth Territorial Legislature met February 1, 1813, James 
Dill, of Dearborn County, was speaker of the House at the first session, 
and Isaac Dunn, of the same county, was speaker during the last seven 
days of the second session. 

The fifth and last Territorial Legislature of Indiana met at Corydon, 
August 14, 1814 Jesse L. Holman, of Dearborn, was elected president 
of the Legislative Council. 


Convention of 1816: James Dill, Solomon Manwarring and Ezra 

Convention of 1851: William S. Holman, John D. Johnson and 
Johnson Watts, 


1816-18.— Ezra Ferris, at Corydon. 

1821-22,— John Grey, at Corydon. 

1825-30. — John Watts, at Indianapolis. 

1831-32,— James T. Pollock. 

1833.— D. V. CuUey, 

1834-35,— Daniel Plummer. 

1838-43.— Johnson Watts. 

1844-45.— George P. Buell. 

1849-51. — James H. Lane, president of the Senate, 

1846-51,— James P. Milliken. 

1852-57.— Richard D. Slater. 

1859-61.— Cornelius O'Brien, 

1863-65.— James W. Gaff. 

1867-69. -Elijah Huffman. 

1871-73.— Richard Gregg. 

1875.— Noah S. Givan. 


1816. — Amos Lane, Erasmus Powell. 

1817. — Amos Lane. 

1818, — Erasmus Powell, John Watts, 

1820, — Ezra Ferris, Erasmus Powell. 

1822, — Pinkney James, Horace Bassett, Ezekiel Jackson, 

1823. — Samuel Jelley, Benjamin J. Blythe, David Bowers. 


1825. — Abel C. Pepper, Horace Bassett, Ezekiel Jackson. 

1825. — Ezekiel Jackson, Abel C. Pepper, Thomas Guion. 

1826. — Ezra Ferris, Ezekiel Jackson, Horace Bassett. 

1827. — Horace Bassett, Ezekiel Jackson, Joel Decoursey, James T. 

1828. — Horace Bassett, James T. Pollock, Arthur St. Clair, George 
H. Dunn. 

1829-30.— Horace Bassett, James T. Pollock, Thomas Guion, Walter 

1830. — James T. Pollock, Walter Armstrong, Ezra Ferris, Samuel H. 

1831.— David V. Culley, William Flake, Warren Tebbs. 

1832.— George H. Dunn, David V. Culley, Oliver Heustis. 

1833. — George H. Dunn, Thomas Guion, David Guard. 

1834. — Nelson H. Torbett, James Walker, Thomas Howard. 

1835. — Henry W^alker, Thomas Howard, Milton Gregg. 

1836. — David Guard, Pinkney James, John P. Dunn, Abel C. Pepper. 

1837. — George Arnold, Abram Ferris, Enoch W. Jackson, Alexander 
E. Glenn. 

1838-39. — George Arnold, Jacob W. Eggleston, William Conaway, 
Ebenezer Dumont. 

1839-40. — Amos Lane, William Lanius, William Conaway, William 

1840-41.— Abij ah North, John B. Clark, Isaac Dunn, William R. Cole. 

1841. — Ethan A. Brown, James P. Milliken, James Rand. 

1842-43. — Ethan A. Brown, John Lewis, James P. Milliken. 

1843-44. — Pinkney James, David Macy. 

1844. — Oliver Huestis, John Lewis, William Lanius. 

1845-46. — George Cornelius, Richard D. Slater. 

1846-47.— A. G. Tebbs, John D. Johnson. 

1847.— George W. Lane, Richard D. Slater. 

1848. — John D. Johnson, Alvin J. Alden, George M. Lozier. 

1849-50. — Daniel Conaway, Joseph A. Watkins. 

1850. — Ebenezer Dumont (speaker of the House), John B. Clark, 

1850. — (Special session) Oliver B. Torbett, William S. Holman. 

1853. — Oliver B. Torbett (speaker of the House), Noah C. Durham, 

1855. — Alvin J. Alden, John Crozier. 

1857. — John Lewis, George W. Lane. 

1858.— Noah C. Durham, Warren Tebbs. 

1859.— Warren Tebbs, Noah C. Durham. 

1861. — Omer F. Roberts, Charles Lods. 

1863. — Omer F, Roberts, Alfred Brogan. 


1865. — John C. Stenger, Richard Gregg. 
1867.— Edward H. Green, Warren Tebbs, Jr. 
1869-71. — Warren Tebbs, Jr. 
1872-73.— (Special) Noah S. Givan. 
1875. — Columbus Johnston. 


From 1826 to 1831 the business of the county was controlled by a 
board of magistrates from the several townships, one of whom was 
elected president. The old records having been burnt, the first meeting 
of which any record exists was held in 1826 with James Dill, clerk. The 
following names appear. 

1826. — Mark McCracken, president; John Porter, James Lewis, Will- 
iam Brundye and Laban Bramble. 

1827.— Mark McCracken, Cornelius S. Falkner and Job A. Beach. 

1828. — Philip Eastman, James Murry, Delia Elder, Isaac Colwell, 
John Godley, James W. Hunter, Martin Stewart and William Flake. 

1829. — David Bowers, John Glass and Israel W. Bonham. 

1830. — Joseph Wood, Ulysses Cook, John Columbia and John Neal. 

The law was changed in 1831 and the county was divided into three 
districts, and one man was elected from each district to compose a board 
of county commissioners. The following persons have been elected and 
served on this board. 

1831. — District No. 1, Joseph Wood, elected for one year; District 
No. 2, Mark McCracken, elected for twQ years; District No. 3, George 
Arnold, elected for three years — all serving from the first Monday in 
August, 1831. From this date one county commissioner was elected 
annually as follows: 

1832.— William Conway. 

1833. - Charles Dashiell. 

1834— George Arnold. 

1835.— John Neal. 

1836. — Benjamin Sylvester. 

1837. — David Nevitt and William Conway. 

1838.— David Walser. 

1839.— Aaron B. Henry. 

1840.— William S. Ward. 

1841.— Charles Dashiell. 

1842.— John Columbia. 

1843.— William S. Ward. 

1844.— David Walser. 

1845. — James Grubbs. 


1846. —Daniel Taylor. 

1847. —Martin Trester. 
1848.— Jonathan Hollowell. 
1849.— William S. Ward. 
1850.— Zera Vinson. 
1851. — Jonathan Hollowell. 
1852. — John Heinberger. 
1853. — Benjamin Biirlingame. 
1854.— Mason J. McCloud. 
1855.— Asahel Tyrrel. 

1856. — Benjamin Burlingame. 

1857. — John Anderegg. 

1858.— Asahel Tyrrel. 

1859.— Francis Buffington. 

1860. — John Anderegg. 

1861. — Charles Briggs. 

1862.— Francis Buffington. 

1863. — Charles Briggs. 

1864. — John Anderegg. 

1865. — Francis Buffington. 

1866. — Frederick Sonders. 

1867.— Smith Piatt. 

1868.— Asahel Tyrrel. 

1869. — Frederick Sonders. 

3870.— John C. Stenger. 

1871.— Asahel Tyrrel. 

1872.— Frederick Sonders. 

1873. — James Grubbs, Smith Piatt. 

1874.— Frederick Slater. 

1876.— Michael Hoff, Abraham Briggs. 

] 877.— Frederick Slater. 

1879.— Abraham Briggs, Michael Hoff. 

1880.— Garrett Bosse. 

1882. — Charles Lods (by appointment to till vacancy caused by the 
death of Hoff ), Henry Bulthaup (by appointment to fill vacancy caused 
by the death of Bosse), T. T. Annis, John Buchert — Bulthaup (elected). 

1883. — Charles Fisk, John Feist (by appointment to fill vacancy 
caused by the death of Buchert. 

1885. — Nicholas Vogelgesang. 


Daniel Hagerman, died 1829. 
Thomas Palmer, 1829-31. 


Walter Armstrong, 1831-36. 
Robert Moore, 1837-38. 
William G. Monroe, 1838-40. 
Ebenezer Dumont, 1840-45. 
Nelson S. Torbet, 1845-47. 
Cornelius O'Brien, 1847-50. 
Noble Hamilton, 1850-53. 
Strange S. Dunn, 1853-55. 
Thomas Johnson, 1855-57. 
Francis M. Jackson, 1857-61. 
Marcus Levy, 1861-63. 
William F. Crocker, 1863-65. 
Thomas Kilner, 1865-70. 
Francis Lang, 1870-74. 
Charles Lods, 1874-78. 
William H. Kyle, 1878-80. 
Dr. James D. Gatch, 1882. 


Samuel C. Vance, March 7, 1803, to September 6, 1813. 
James Dill, September 6, 1813 until his death, in 1838, and was 
succeeded by Alexander Dill, appointed clerk pro tern. 
William V. Cheek, 1839-51. 
Cornelius O'Brien, 1851-56. 
Samuel L. Jones, 1856-61. 
John F. Cheek, 1864-68. 
John A. Conwell, 1868-78. 
Warren Tebbs, 1878. 


James Dill, March 7, 1803 to August 30, 1803. 
James Hamilton, August 30, 1803 to February 14, 1817. 
■ James Dill, 1817-31. 
Thomas Porter, 1831-34. 
Asa Smith, 1834. 
Thomas Palmer, 1835-55. 
Tobias Finkbine, 1855. 
John Heinberger, 1855-63. 
Alvin J. Alden, 1863-67. 
Alfred Brogan, 1867-71. 
Francis M. Johnson, 1871-79. 
George C. Columbia, 1879-85. 



David Lamphere, August 23, 1803, to November 23, 1804. 

James Hamilton, November 23, 1804, to December 30, 1816. 

John Hamilton, February 14, 1817, died May, 1818. 

William Hamilton, May 29, 1818, to August 18, 1818. 

Thomas Longley, August 18, 1818 to August 18, 1822. 

John Spencer, August, 1822, to August, 1826. 

Thomas Longley, August, 1826, to August, 1828. 

John Spencer, 1828-32. 

Milton Gregg, 1832. 

William Dils, 1832-37. 

John Weaver. 

Samuel Osgood. "^ 

Thomas Roberts. 

Frank M. Riddle. 

John Brumblay. 

John Boyd, 1858-60. 

Edward A. Conger, 1860-64. 

Richard C. Arnold, 1864-68. 

Frank R. Dorman, 1868-72. 

Lewis Weitzel, 1872-76. 

Elijah Christopher, 1876-80. 

John C. Sims, 1880-84. 

Daniel M. Guard, 1884. 


George W. Lane (first auditor), 1841-46. 
Reuben Rogers, 1846-55. 
Elias T. Crosby, 1855-64. 
Richard D. Slater, Sr., 1864-68. 
Richard D. Slater, Jr., 1868-75. 
Myron Haynes, 1875-79. 
Alexander Pattison, 1879-83. 
Julius Severin, 1883. 


The following named citizens of Dearborn County have held offices 
under and by authority of the General Government: 

Jesse L. Holman, Judge of the United States Court for the District 
of Indiana. 

Horace Bassett, clerk of the District Court, Indiana. 

Abel C. Pepper, United States marshal for State of Indiana. 

Thomas Porter, receiver United States land office, Fort Wayne. 


Arthur St. Clair, register United States land office, Indianapolis. 
John Spencer, receiver United States land office. Fort Wayne. 
Abel C. Pepper, Indian agent. 

David V. Culley, register United States land office, Indianapolis. 
B. T. W. S. Anderson, United States mail agent. 

D. M. Skinner, United States mail agent. 

Servetus Tufts, assistant door-keeper United States Congress. 
Samuel J. Johnson, assistant door-keeper United States Congress. 

E. D. Slater, Sr., assistant door-keeper United States Congress. 
Geo. W.Lane, superintendent United States branch mint,Denver, Col. 
Benjamin F. Spooner, United States marshal for the State of Indiana, 
R. DeLoss Brown, assistant door-keeper United States Congress. 
James I. McConnell, assistant door-keeper. United States Congress. 
Jason D. Brown, secretary of Wyoming Territory. 

Henry W. Blasdal, "governor of Nevada Territory. 


Jesse L. Holman, judge of the supreme court. 

George H. Dunn, treasurer of State. 

John P. Dunn, auditor of State. 

James H. Lane, lieutenant-governor. 

B. DeLoss Brown, librarian. 

E. G. Collins, secretary of State. 

James DeSano,- librarian. 

Ebenezer Dumont, president of the State bank. 


Miles C. Eggleston, of Jefferson County, 1844. 

Courtland Cushing, of Jefferson County, 1845-50. 

Alexander C. Downey, of Ohio County, 1850-58. 

Joseph W. Chapman, 1858-64. 

John G. Berkshire, of Ripley County, 1864-69. 

Robert N. Lamb, 1869-70. 

Henry C. Hanna, 1870-73. 

Omar F. Roberts, of Dearborn County, 1873-79. 

Noah S. Givan, of Dearborn County, 1879-85. 

W. H. Bainbridge, of Dearborn County, 1885. 


Robert Drummond, 1852-58. 

John J. Hayden, of Ohio County, 1858-60. 

Francis Adkinson, 1860-64. 

Robert N. Lamb, 1864-68. 

Scott Carter, 1868-72. 



Samuel Fulton, 1844-47. 
Thomas H. Gilmore, 1844-47. 
John Hall, 1847-51. 
Martin Stewart, 1847-51. 


Samuel Jelley, 1844-51. 
Thomas W. Pate, 1851-52. 


William Lanius, 1844, by appointment. 

James B. Smith, 1844-46. 

William W. Pate, 1846-51. 

Thomas H. Gilmore, 1851-55. 

John J. Works, 1855-57. 

John M. Ginnings, 1857-59. 

Thomas H. Gilmore, 1859-61. 

Harvey Green, 1861-65. 

Moses T. McMurray, 1865-67. 

B. F. Miller, 1867-69. 

William H. Clark, 1869-73. 

John McGuire, 1873-75. 

Rufus K. Downey, 1875-77. 

David H. Durbin, 1877-79. 

John Monroe, 1879-81. 

John McGuire, 1881-85. 

Thomas A. Bennett, 1885. 


William T. Lambdin, 1844-50. 
John R. Ross, 1850-51. 
Henry B. Newman, 1851-55. 
J. J. Hay den, 1855. 
John Downey, 1855. 
William Elliott, 1855-63 . 
John B. Covington, 1863-71. 
Joseph B. Pepper, 1871-75. 
John W. Facemire, 1875-79. 
George B. Hall, 1879-80. 
Wallace P. Hall, 1880-82. 
Reuel W. Fugit, 1882. 



James H. Pepper, 1844. 
John R. Ross, 1850. 
John B. Covington, 1861. 
Oliver H. Miller, 1864. 
Solomon K. Kittle, 1872. 
John H. Jones {ad interim), 1876. 
William W. Williams, 1876. 
George B. Hall, 1880. 


Samuel F. Covington, 1844-45. 
Joseph M. Vance, 1845. 
Lot North, 1851. 
John D. Bush, 1855. 
Oliver H. Miller, 1859. 
Solomon K. Kittle, 1863. 
Oliver H. Miller, 1871. 
Joseph P. Hemphill, 1879. 


John B. Craft, 1844. 
James B. Smith, 1855. 
Robert W. Jones, 1859. 
Hugh S. Espey, 1865. 
John T. Whitlock, 1867. 
AVilliam H. Clark, 1875. 
John C. Miller, 1878. 
John W. Facemire, 1883. 
Michael McGuire, 1885. 


1844. — John Bennett, William H. Powell and Morris Merrill. 

1845. — John Bennett, for three years; George Pate, for two years, 
and James Hemphill, for one year. 

1846. — James M. Shepherd. 

1847.— George Pate, re-elected for three years, and Cornelius Miller 
succeeded John Bennett, deceased. 

1848. — Thomas Summers. 

1849.— Allen B. Wilber, Marshall Elliott. 

1851. George Pate (died in 1852) and John Hall, appointed to the 


1852. — Charles E. Hamilton, James W. Gibbens. 

1853.— Benjamin Hall. 

1854. — George Buchanan. 

1855. — James Johnson, Nathan Vanosdol, Joseph L. Pate. 

1857.— Calvin Marble. 

1858. — Hiram Barricklow. 

1859. — Hugh Anderson. 

I860.— Henry Brown. 

1861.— William Wooden. 

1862.— Hugh Anderson. 

1863.— Henry Brown. 

1864.— Ezra Kemp. 

1865.— Scott Billings. 

1866.— William Hemphill. 

1867. — Ezra Lampkin. 

1868. — James Buchanan, by appointment, to succeed Ezra Lampkin, 
removed from the county; then elected. Scott Billings. 

1869.— William Hemphill. 

1870. — James Buchanan. 

1871.— Scott Billings. 

1872.— William Hemphill. 

1873. — James Buchanan. 

1874.— Scott Billings. 

1875. ^William Hemphill. 

1876.— John Hanna, John W. Cofield. 

1877.— Scott Billings. 

1878. — Christian Marlman. 

1879. — James North, Henry F. Potterbaum.. 

1881. — James Buchanan, by appointment to succeed Henry F. Potter- 
baum, removed from the county. Christian Marlman. 

1882.— F. M. Miller, J. F. Schroeder. 

1884. — Christian Marlman. 


The following list contains the names of men who have been honored 
with a seat in the General Assembly of Indiana from the senatorial and 
legislative districts of which Ohio County has constituted a part since 
the organization of the county until 1869 and 1875, respectively; 

Senate. — Ohio and Switzerland Counties were made a senatorial dis- 
trict in 1845. Since the adoption of the new constitution, the sessions 
of the Legislature have been held biennially, the senators being elected 
for four years. 


1846-47-48, Martin R. Green; 1849-50-51, John Woods; 1852-53. 
William Powell; in the sessions commencing 1855 and 1857, Philander 
S. Page; in the sessions commencing 1859 and 1861, Benjamin L. Rob- 
inson; in the sessions commencing in 1863 and 1865, Alexander C- 
Downey; in the sessions commencing in 1867 and 1879, Flavins J. Bell- 

House. — Since 1845 Ohio and Switzerland Counties have composed a 
representative district. 1846, John Tait, Jr.; 1847, Samuel F. Cov- 
ington and Charles T. Jones; 1848, Daniel Kelso; 1849, John W.Wright 
and John W. Spencer; 1850, Thomas Armstrong; 1851, Samuel Porter 
and John W. Spencer (after this session the Legislature met biennially, 
and convened in January instead of December, as under the old consti- 
tution); 1853, Oliver Dufour, Hazlett E. Dodd; in 1855, George W. 
Harryman and David Cain; 1857, John W. and John J. Hayden; 1858- 
59, William H. Gregory (session of 1858 a special one); 1861, Hugh T. 
Williams; 1863, Robert N. Lamb; 1865, Augustus Welch; 1867, James 
North; 1869, Stephen H. Stewart; 1871, William G, Holland; 1873; 
Benjamin North; 1875, William T. Pate. 




Location and Origin— The Early Village and Its Progress— The 
Warren Murder— The Decade Betaveen 1830 and 1840— Observ- 
ance of Independence Day, 1831— Laavrenceburgh a City— Growth 
AND Progress— Odd Fellows Building and City Hall— The City 
1858-59— The Banking Business— The Fire of July 4, 1866— Ecclesi- 
astical History— Schools— Leading Manufacturing Interests- 
Gas Works— Fire Department— Societies— Old Land Marks and 
Relics— The Centennial Fourth. 

LAWRENCEBURGH is situated on the right bank of the Ohio 
River, occupying a position on a broad expanse of most fertile 
bottom lauds, back of which there arises a ridge and range of hills, tow- 
ering, perhaps, 100 feet above the valley, from which is presented a pic- 
ture most grand to behold— the broad and extended bottoms coursed by 
the Great Miami, the city with its many and graceful church spires 
pointing heavenward, its huge and tall chimneys from the numerous fac- 
tories, the majestic Ohio flowing beneath the chivalrous Kentucky hills. 
The city is located in the southeastern part of the county, and is distant 
by rail eighty-six miles southeast of Indianapolis, and twenty-one miles 
a little west of south from Cincinnati, Ohio, and by river twenty-two 
miles, lying in latitude 39° 5' north, and longitude 7° 35' west. 

The city was laid out in April, 1802, the plat being recorded on the 
8th by Samuel C. Vance, who was the original proprietor of the land on 
which the original plat was made — fractional Section 14, Township 5, 
Range 1 west— which Mr. Vance entered July 23, 1801. In addition to 
this tract of land Mr. Vance entered a number of others and, it is said, 
could not pay for them, and the tract on which the city was laid out was 
re-entered, December 3, by Col. Benjamin Chambers, who was the pat- 
entee. The surveying vs^as performed by Benjamin Chambers and James 
Hamilton. The original plat we failed to find, but in the records of this 
county over the date of May 29, 1812, at which time Mr. Vance as pro- 
prietor acknowledged the plan of Lawrenceburgh as enlarged and altered 
from the original plan on record in Hamilton County, Ohio (the place 
being laid out when its site was a part of that county and State). The 
plat comprised 196 in-lots, bounded about as follows: On the north by 


Elm Street, on the south by Mulberry Row, on the east by Front Street, 
which bordered on a common lying between it and the river, and on the 
west by Partition Lane. In addition to the above number of lots there 
were fifty-five out-lots. The public square, on which is now situated the 
court house and jail was bounded by High, Catharine, Charlotte and 
Mary Streets. As compared with the original plat it was stated that the 
front tier of lots was brought one pole nigher to the river; the lots on 
Front and Second Streets were reduced in size, and New Street estab- 
lished between the front and second tier of lots; five lots that were orig- 
inally appropriated to the future enlargement of the town were in the 
meantime laid out and disposed of as out-lots, the town having been 
enlarged to a much greater extent on more suitable ground. 

Early additions to the town were made as follows: In 1814 by Sam- 
uel Ludlow, six lots out of his meadow lot fronting on Elm Street, and 
on the east of that street; by John Elliott, of Philadelphia, in 1831, five 
lots between New Street and River, and Elm and Short Streets; and 
thirty-six lots, half on either side of Short Street and adjoining Parti- 
tion Lane, in 1839, by William T. Cbafi'ee. 

The town was named by Capt. Vance in honor of his wife, whose 
maiden name was Lawrence. 

Samuel Morrison is the authority for saying that in the autumn of 
1802, Dr. Jabez Percival- erected the first house on the site of the town 
and occupied it; it was a double log-cabin. 

" Mr. Vance was a United States government surveyor, residing at 
Cincinnati, Ohio, and having ascertained the good quality of the soil, and 
the most eligible location, on account of the high ground upon these bot- 
tom lands, naturally took advantage of his discovery, and bought all the 
land on which the original town is situated; and also the balance of the 
bottom up the river to a point where a line from the river north and 
south struck the old channel of the Big Miami River, and afterward upon 
the highest point of ground erected his residence, known to most of our 
residents as the Omer Tousey property, in 1818, now owned by Col. Willis. 
The whole river front of the original town is a public common, with the 
reservation on the part of the layer out of the town and his successors, 
heirs and assigns of maintaining the right to the land at the ferry, and a 
ferry and warehouse. The balance belongs to the town, although many 
persons have encroached upon it. It was trespass, though done through 
ignorance of the fight of the town to the common. In the year 1809, 
or thereabouts (the records having been destroyed by fire, we are unable 
to give the exact date), Pinkney James laid out what is now called New- 
town, by the name of Edenborough; not prospering in the selling of lots, 
he followed his father, who laid out that town, to Rising Sun, in this 


State, and in the year 1811, sold out the town of Stephen 
Ludlow, George Weaver. John Weaver and Thomas Porter, including the old 
pond and embracing the property upon -which George Huschart's marble 
works are now situated ; thence in a direct line to the raeanderino- of 
Tanner's Creek, to a point where the north line of the old graveyard in 
Newtown struck it, and thence east to where the old fence north and 
south used to divide the new addition from the city dirt lot. Isaac Dunn 
being elected to the Legislature, sitting at Corydon, then the capital of 
the State, got the town of Edenborough vacated, but some years after- 
ward, an opportunity offering for the sale of building lots, in connection 
with Stephen Ludlow, who already owned a number of the lots of the old 
town, had the old map, with the exception of the two southern tier of lots, 
re-recorded and reinstated as a town under the statute, and it then was 
incorporated with the old town of Lawrenceburgh as a part of the town." 
— Centennial History. 

Over the date of April 6, 1819, Isaac Dunn, a proprietor of New Law- 
renceburgh, acknowledged a plat entered and laid off by him from the 
town formely called Edenborough, to be an addition to Lawrenceburgh f 
this consisted of 125 lots. Next to Tanner's Creek, ground was desig- 
nated as a graveyard, and running parallel with that stream were desig- 
nated Shipping, Main, Front and Water Streets, which were intersected 
by First, High, Third and Fourth Streets. 

By an act of the Legislature in the year 1846, Old and Newtown were 
incorporated as a city. Since that date the town of Rossville has been 
annexed to the city^ besides Eichelberger and Lewis added a large 
addition, by the subdivision of high adjoining grounds into building lots 
which have been sold, and are already greatly improved by fine residences 
shops and manufactories. As a suburb, we have the beautiful town of 
Greendale, with her large manufactories, many cozy cottages and palatial 

"In former days, rival towns attempted to give our city bad repute on 
account of an occasional overflow from the Ohio River, but owing to the 
energy of the citizens, and the liberal expenditure of over $400,000 pub- 
lic and private, and at least $200,000 by the respective railroads passing 
through our city, we have succeeded in making fills and embankments to 
that extent, that places us above the reach of high water. Time with 
its destroying power has made sad havoc with the early landmarks of our 
city's existence; the little log-cabins and houses have long since dis- 
appeared and been forgotten. Death, the insatiable reaper, has been 
busily at work during those days, and one by one has gathered home the 
old pioneers, until at the time we write, there remains not one who viewed 
the dawn of its existence. Those men of iron will and courage have 


passed away, and the toils, suffering and dangers they encountered in 
beating back the savage occupants, and reclaiming this magnificent 
country from an unbroken wilderness, can never be realized by the gen- 
erations that shall succeed them. At the present time Mr. Norval Sparks 
is the oldest resident in our city, having settled here with his father's 
family in the year 1806, and to him are we indebted for many of the 
names, dates and incidents of those early times." — Centennial History. 


" In the year 1806, the principal buildings were the ferry house 
on the bank of the river above Walnut Street and the warehouse below 
Walnut Street, The residences were those of Benjamin Chambers and 
Gen. James Dill on the bank of the river; James Hamilton and 
Michael Jones lived on what is known to-day as Vail's Alley; what is 
now known as New Street, was then called Second Street, and on it lived 
Dr. Jabez Percival, Jesse B. Thomas, Capt. Samuel C. Vance and Elijah 
Sparks. On High Street, below the railroad, lived Rev. Baldridge. 
William Cook was jailer, and lived in the old log-jail; James Foster, 
on the corner of Vine and High Streets, and carried on the business of 
making chairs. Owing to the disadvantages James labored under, he 
was not prepared to manufacture cushioned spring bottoms. William 
Morgan lived on the corner of High and Walnut Streets; on the opposite 
corner, known now as Burk's Corner, John Horner carried on a blacksmith 
shop. Mr. John Gray kept store on the corner of Short and High 
Streets. Jacob Horner kept tavern in a log-house, where the Anderson 
House is, and Judge Isaac Dunn lived on the corner of New and High 
Streets. Those embraced principally all the houses that were at that 
time; the most of them were log. It is evident that the first house erected 
on the site of Lawrenceburgh, was built by Dr. Jabez Percival, who had 
imoiigrated here some years before. For a number of years there was 
little growth to the city; here and there were erected the small log- 
cabins by the new comers, and one peculiarily of the log-cabins of those 
days was, the majority of the logs used in their erection were of Buck- 
eye; it grew very plentifully, and was no doubt selected by the sturdy 
old fellows on account of it being soft wood and easy to cut. The little 
log- cabins would present quite a picturesque appearance during the first 
year of their erection, young shoots would put forth from every log, and 
give them the appearance of a large mass of green bushes. 

" The courts at that date were held in the house of William Morgan, 
on the corner of Walnut and High Streets; Judge Benjamin Park was the 
district judge, and resided at Vincennes. Benjamin Chambei's was 
associate judge; Samuel C. Vance was clerk; David Lamphere, sheriff, 


and William Cook, jailer. The attorneys were Jesse B. Thomas, Michael 
Jones, Elijah Sparks, and James Noble. The business was dispatched 
promptly without the aid of professional jurors, and there were no 
changes of venue granted. Upon the public square was erected the first 
log-schoolhouse, which was also used as a meeting-house; the first teachers 
were the Rev. Baldridge and a Mr. Fulton (house was removed in 1831). 
Mr. Elijah Sparks preached for the Methodists; Rev. Baldridge, for the 
Presbyterians, and Mr. John Watts who lived across the river in Ken- 
tucky, for the Baptists. In the year 1810 the old brick court house, 
(burned in 1826), was built." — Centennial History. 

In 1818, the principal citizens of the village were Samuel C. Vance, 
Benjamin Chambers, James Dill, Stephen Ludlow, Isaac Dunn, Benja- 
min Piatt, Dr. Jabez Percival; Jacob Horner, proprietor of hotel; John 
Horner, blacksmith; Walter Armstrong, inn-keeper; Samuel Fauncher, 
constable;Timothy Davis; James McLeaster, shoe-maker; Charles Lee Brai- 
ser, hatter; William Cook, jailor; old Mr. Kimball, wheelwright; John 
Cox; William Cumberlain, proprietor of horse-mill; Dr. Ezra Ferris; Cham- 
bers Foster; Zenas Hill, school teacher; Mr. Shaw; Mr. Thornbury; 
James Hamilton; William Caldwell, justice of the peace, and David Ger- 
ard. At this period there were but two brick houses, one stone, besides 
the court house, and five frame houses, those of Vance, Chambers, Dill, 
Ludlow and Dunn: all the others were log-houses. Of the young men 
Andrew Morgan, Walter Hayes, Davis and John Weaver, and Samuel H. 
Dowden are all that can be recollected after a lapse of seventy-two years. 

In Daniel Drake's picture of Cincinnati and Miami Country, published 
in 1815, it is stated that "Lawrenceburgh having occasionally suffered 
inundation, has grown but little, and a new village called Edinborough 
has been lately laid out on higher ground, about one-half mile from the 
river, but this is not a place of much promise. The inhabitants of the 
counties of Dearborn, Franklin and Wayne, received their supplies of 
foreign goods almost exclusively from Cincinnati, but little, mercantile 
capital being employed at Lawrenceburgh, and there being on the Great 
Miami no depot of merchandise for that region." Two years later the 
author of an emigrants' directory says, "In traveling seven miles through 
the woods of Dearborn County, I counted two bears, three deer, and up- 
ward of 100 turkeys. In the course of the day I missed my way and 
wandered several miles in the wilderness." 

"From the year 1812 to 1820, the town grew rapidly, and became the 
business point for all the surrounding country, which had been rapidly 
taken up and settled upon by immigrants from the older States. Many 
substantial buildings were erected during this period. The principal 
business men of this date were David P. Shook & Co., Samuel Vance, 


John Gray, John H. & Benjamin M. Piatt, David Guard, Isaac Dunn, 
John Eads & Co., William Pyne (tailor), Stephen Ludlow,' John Gibson, 
Israel J. Canby, A. Morgan, Frederick Lucas, James W. Weaver, David 
Rees, William Ewing, Joseph H. Coburn, Jacob Brasher, C. Fitch, E. 
Hollister, James Hallowell, Harris Fitch, Jesse Hunt, W. Tate, Benja- 
min Stockman, W. Armstrong, Thomas Shaw, John Bates, Noah Noble 
& Co., Mary Brooks (milliner), Jared Evans, J. P., and David Bruner 
was the barber. Dennis Duskey ran a trading boat from here to 
Cincinnati, leaving every Monday morning, wind and weather permitting. 
Every attention was given to goods committed to his care, and every ac- 
commodation possible afforded to passengers. There was no bar on this 
boat, and smoking was positively forbidden, and the first person caught 
playing cards was at once set ashore. The captain reserving the right 
to indulge in profanity whenever the occasion required it. In 1817 
the first paper was published by B. Brown, called the Dearborn Gazette: 
the office was located in a building on what is now known as Vail's Alley 
the motto of the paper was "Equal and exact justice." During his ed- 
itorial career the following incident occurred: Mr. John Jackson was 
the mail carrier. His rout was from Cincinnati to Madison. He lived 
at Georgetown, and made Lawrenceburgh a way-station, and would bring 
the mail matter down tied up in his handkerchief. Brown took him to 
task for his seeming carelessness, which irritated the courageous carrier, 
who was a man of extraordinary physical strength, and as brave as he 
was powerful, and he determined to chastise the impertinent editor. 
Brown was a small man, but lacked no courage; when Jackson entered 
the office to chastise him for his impertinence, he was busily engaged, 
inking balls in hand, printing his paper, and as soon as he had come in 
striking distance of him. Brown struck him in the eye with the ink balls, 
and succeeding in making a good impression. Jackson was so aston- 
ished at the mode of defense, and the weapons used by the Yankee 
printer, blinded and blackened, he retired from the contest, proclaiming 
he could whip his weight in "wild cats," but always preferred to pass 
by the small odoriferous animal whose defense was more effectual than a 
Chinese stink pot. 

" Early in the spring of 1813, a horse thief was captured near Tan- 
ner's Creek, who had in his possession a very fine horse, which he had 
stolen from some honest pioneer. He died very suddenly with his boots 
on. A few nights after his death it is reported that Dr. Jabez Percival, 
the leading physician of the town, and Ezra Pugh, held a most thorough 
post mortem examination xipon the body, and unfortunately for the ben- 
efit of the medical society of the county of to-day, the old rough and 
ready doctor and his able assistant, neglected to transmit the result of 


that examination. But the records prove that it did not cost the tax- 
payers anything, as there was no charge made for coroner or juror's 
fees. At this time, The Farmers and Mechanics Bank was in existence. 
Isaac Dunn was president, and Thomas Porter was cashier. The list of 
physicians were Dr. Jabez Percival, Ezra Ferris, -John S. Percival, Mar- 
maduke E. Ferris, Dr. Finch, Dr. Brower and Dr. Easton. The attor- 
neys that practiced in the courts, were James Dill, Jesse B. Thomas, 
Elijah Sparks, Thomas Wardell, John Lawrence, Amos Lane, James 
Noble, Jesse L. Holman, Stephen C. Stephens, William Hendricks, Daniel 
J. Caswell, Moses Hitchcock, Isaac S. Brower and George H. Dunn. 

"Business was brisk, and the following was the price list as reported 
to us by the chief clerk of the firm of Dunn & Ludlow: India muslin, 
75 cents per yard; calico, 62| cents per yard; coffee, 75 cents per pound; 
tea, $2.50 per pound; sugar, 50 cents per pound; indigo, $4 per pound; 
madder, 50 cents; copperas, 25 cents; salt, $4.50 per barrel; iron, 12| 
cents per pound; castings, 10 cents; flour, $5 per hundred; corn, 15 
cents per bushel; potatoes, 15 cents; pork, $1.50 per hundred; beef, 
$1.50 per hundred; eggs, 6^ cents per dozen; butter, 12| cents per 
pound. In those days when a young sprig put on one of those muslin 
shirts, he felt as exalted as the wearer of a ruffled shirt of to-day does 
at a 'Centennial tea party,' and the fair Miss robed in one of those 62|- 
cent calicoes made from five or six yards, as grand as the young Miss of 
to-day does when she appears before the mirror to behold herself cos- 
tumed for a 'Martha Washington reception.' In 1816 George Weaver 
erected and operated a saw-mill in Newtown. The motive power was 
supplied by two sturdy oxen; the number of feet sawed per day we are 
unable to give, as there was no city measurer at that time. In 1820 
Jesse Hunt erected the hotel on the corner of High and Walnut Streets, 
known as the Anderson House, which is said to have been the first three- 
story brick house erected in the State. Benjamin Stockman did the 
brick work. 

"The Lawrenceburgh Sunday-school Society was organized December 
24, 1819, with Dr. Jabez Percival, president; George H. Dunn, secretary; 
David P. Shook, treasurer; Dr. Ezra Ferris and Dr. Abram Brower, 
superintendents. The directors of the Lawrenceburgh Library Company, 
for the year 1820, were John Porter, John ^Veaver, Joseph H. Coburn, 
Isaac S. Brower, Jabez Percival, James Dill and George H. Dunn. At 
the annual election, January 3, 1820, to elect directors of the Farmers' 
and Mechanics' Bank for the ensuing year, the following persons were 
elected: Isaac Dunn, Ezra Ferris, Isaac Morgan, Walter Armstrong, 
John^ Weaver, David Guard, Lazarus Noble, Stephen Ludlow, Levi 
Miller, Moses Schott, George Weaver, Samuel Bond and Amos Lane. 


" January 10, 1820, the first murder in the city occurred, by Amasa 
Fuller killing Palmer Warren. January 6, 1820, the ladies of the city 
met at the house of David Guard, and organized a female Sunday- 
school. Mrs. Frances Dunn was president, and Polly Lane, secretary. 
Miss Elizabeth Brower, Miss Mary Brooks and Mrs. Elizabeth Percival 
were the committee on constitution and rules. Mrs. Elizabeth Percival, 
Frances Dunn, Polly Lane, Rebecca Wright, Elizabeth Rice, Elizabeth 
Brower, Anna Eads and Huldah Gardner were appointed superintend- 
ents. Mrs. Mercy Porter, Misses Mary Brooks, Elizabeth Brower, Mary 
Ann Brower, Lucretia Earl and Electa Wright volunteered as teachers. 
Mrs, Bulah Guard was elected treasurer, and Miss Elizabeth Brower, 

" As an indication of the energy and enterprise of those days, it ap- 
pears that the city fathers had the courage to assume an indebtedness of 
$3,500 for the purpose of digging wells and filling up High Street. The 
city grew quite rapidly, and became the business town of the State, and 
the market point for all the adjoining counties extending as far west as 
Indianapolis. The produce was all brought here in wagons, and this 
was the shipping point for the southern markets. Great numbers of 
trading and flat-boats were annually sent down the river, and a large 
number of the citizens were engaged in that hazardous trade, and it is 
claimed that there was more business done here in those days than at 
the present time. And there were many noted characters here in the ze- 
nith of their glory, many whose names have come down to us, brilliant with 
the memory of their many good deeds and acts, and whose reputation was 
co-extensive with their young and rising State, and who did much in laying 
the solid foundations upon which we have builded,while there were some, 
as in this day, noted for their dark and infamous deeds; of the latter class 
we will mention one Daniel Brown, and there are quite a number of our old 
citizens living to-day who remember him well. He is said to have been 
one of the most powerful men of that time, nearly six feet in height, 
straight as an arrow, and very active, at all times appearing in a smiling 
mood, subtle and courageous as a lion. He was an active business man 
and county commissioner. He kept a store on High Street, in the build- 
ing where Mr. Moore's book- store is at the present time, and in addition 
traded on the river. He was a noted counterfeiter and gambler, and in 
one of his trips south he got into difficulty with gamblers at a noted 
place known in those days to all river travelers as "Natchez Under the 
Hill," and killed one of them. He succeeded in making his escape, and 
proceeded to New Orleans, where he at once entered largely upon 
counterfeiting, and was very successful, and it was some time before he 
was detected. He was placed in jail, with others of the gang, and some 


reports say he died, while others claim he succeeded in making his es- 
cape; be that as it may, the citizens of this city never heard of him after 
that time. 

"March 13, 1826, the court house was burned, and all the records de- 
stroyed — it was dui'ing the freshet of that year, the water was up around 
the building at the time, and it was so cold that the next morning after 
the fire it had frozen ice all around it. There is no doubt but it was the 
work of an incendiary. The citizens of our city at that date were largely 
imbued with the patriotic spirit that was transmitted by their Revolution- 
ary sires, and the commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of 
Independence was never permitted to pass by without a grand celebration 
and jubilee, a day of rejoicing and good feeling. And to give our citi- 
zens (whom we regret to say are fast forgetting the memories that clus- 
tered around that day), an idea of how they celebrated, we give the 
program of July 4, 1825: Maj. Langley, marshal; Maj. Spencer, 
assistant marshal; the procession proceeded to the Methodist Church. 
Beading the Declaration of Independence, by Capt. Samuel C. Vance; 
address by George H. Dunn, Esq., after which the procession was formed 
and proceeded to the hotel of John Gray for dinner. After the ladies 
had retired, the patriotic old gentlemen proceeded to drink twenty- four 
toasts, and acquitted themselves heroically, as they did every task 
imposed, and with unfaltering courage never shrank from any undertak- 
ing, and the record of that day no doubt did no discredit to their valor, 
and with patriotism swelling every bosom, they closed the scene amidst 
many cheers in response to the following toast: O. H. Perry, the hero of 

Lake Erie. 

' May the British lion lie and wheeze, 

While swift the eagle flies, 
Spreads her broad pinions o'er the seas, 
And picks out both his eyes.' 

"In those early times, in addition to the 4th of July, the general 
election and muster days were times looked forward to with great inter- 
est by the early pioneers. On election day they would gather for miles 
and miles around at the voting precinct. Those of the more peacefully 
and good naturedly inclined, would devote the day to fun and pleasure, 
and in a jovial and enthusiastic manner would champion the interest of 
their respective candidates, while the more pugilistically inclined, would 
embrace the opportunity to display their physical powers, and on those 
days many and bloody were the encounters that would occur between the 
neighborhood champions, as their friends would gather around them to 
see that there was fair play, as it was termed, and at it they would go, 
regardless of the more Christianized rules of the London prize ring, and 


many were the cheers that would greet the champion of Hogan, Wilson 
of Tanner's Creek, as he was declared victor over the town champion, 
who bleeding and discomfited would appease his wounded spirit by the 
fond hope that he might be more successful the next time. Politics ran 
high; they entered into it as in everything else, with all the vim and 
energy of their enthusiastic natures; in championing their respective 
candidates for the various oJB&ces, they rendered to them that devotion 
and fidelity that would have done honor to the soldiers of Napoleon's Old 
Guard. The papers of those times teemed with articles of a personal 
nature, filled with the severest invectives, attacking both the public and 
private characters of the politicians of the day. There seems to have 
been one person who wrote under the nom deplume of the "Old Man 
of the Mountain," said to have been James M. Bay, who had been drawn 
into the battle with a number of the gallants, but from his mountain 
fastness, up Tanner's Creek, hurled forth his poisoned javelins with an 
energy that must have discomfited his opponents." — Centennial History. 

From 1812 to 1834, there were no banks of much value in Dearborn 
County, and consequently no place to dispose of the surplus produce 
raised in the ' Big Bottom ' and Lawrenceburgh, and no way of pro- 
curing money (which was silver) for the needs of the country. Conse- 
quently, there were thirteen men of enterprise who began the New 
Orleans trade; their names are Col. Benjamin Chambers, Andrew Mor- 
gan, David, Ezra and Bailey Guard, Job Miller, Joseph, Walter and 
Jacob Hayes, Abiah Hayes, Jacob Dennis, Isaac Dunn and Stephen 
Ludlow. Among these traders, Jacob Hayes acted a prominent part. 
These thirteen men were vastly of more importance to Lawi'enceburgh 
and the surrounding country than any bank ever established here. They 
bought up all of the surplus produce, paying for it in silver money, and 
that too when the people needed it most. Jacob Hayes was a very active 
and prominent trader on the river from 1820 to 1848, having from two 
to five flat-boats loaded with produce on the river at one time. The 
writer heard him say, that frequently he had all that he was worth afloat 
on the river. Mr. Hayes was prominent in establishing the Lawrence- 
burgh Insurance Company, and one among its largest stockholders. He 
was also a large stockholder in the Lawrenceburgh Branch of the State 
Bank of Indiana. 

Quite an extensive business was done at Lawrenceburgh in 1826, 
something that astonished the people. Its great business interest and 
commercial supremacy is thus set forth by Mr. John Scott: 

"Some idea can be formed of the commerce and growing importance 
of this town and county by the following statement of produce shipped 
at the river, for the Mississippi and lower country market, from the 1st 


of January to the Ist of May, 1826, a period of four months. In giv- 
ing this statement we have confined ourselves almost exclusively to the 
produce of the neighborhood of the town, not having it in our power to 
give the whole amount of produce exported from the county, which 
would, it is believed, swell the sum to $80,000 or $100,000. 


14,140 bushels corn @ 50 cents per bushel I 7,070 00 

51 horses @ $75 each 3,825^00 

136toasof hay;@ |30 per ton 2,720 00 

45 head of cattle @ $25 each 1,125 00 

2,131 barrels pork @ $6 12,786 00 

1,393 kegs lard @ $3 4,179 00 

493 live hogs @ |5 2,465 00 

66 hogsheads of hams @ $32 per hogshead 2,112 00 

10 tons hams @ |5 per cwt 1,000 00 

11 barrels hams @ fSJper barrel 88 00 

80 bushels of potatoes @ 50 cents per bushel 40 00 

186 barrels flour @ $3 per barrel 558 00 

500 gallons whisky @ 25 cents per gallon 125 00 

453 kegs tobacco @ $10.50 a keg 4,756 00 

74 dozen chickens @ $2 per dozen 148 00 

12,250 lbs. pork, in bulk @ 4 cents 490 00 

$41,467 50" 

The writer said he made no mention of small ai'tieles, such as oats, 
hoop-poles, flax seed, etc., which he thought would run up to $6,000 or 
$7,000, yet it had amounted to the above large sum. He also informed 
us that to carry this enormous amount of produce to market it required 
twenty flat-boats, which cost an average each of $100. He places the 
population of Lawrenceburgh at 700. It had 150 handsome brick and 
frame dwellings, nine stores, five taverns, six lawyers and three physi- 
cians, with a vast number of mechanics of various professions. 

There was a storehouse five stories high, which was considered the 
best from Cincinnati to the Falls (at Louisville). "There is also," says 
the writer, "an extensive silk lace factory established in the town, which 
supplies a large district of country with the article, and the only one of 
the kind west of the mountains (referring to the Alleghanies), also a 
printing office and a Masonic lodge." 

The following description of Lawrenceburgh is taken from a geogra- 
phy and history of the Western States published in 1828: 

"It stands on the north bank of the Ohio, twenty-three miles below 
Cincinnati, and two below the Big Miami, which is the eastern limit of 
the State. This town is in the center of a rich and deep bottom. The 
ancient village was built on the first bottom, which was frequently 


exposed to inuadation. It is not uncommon for the water to rise four or 
five feet above the foundations of the houses and stores, in which case 
the inhabitants remove to the upper story, and drive their domestic ani- 
mals to the hills. Visits and tea parties are projected in the inundated 
town, and the vehicles of transport are skiffs and pirogues. The period 
of the flood, from ancient custom, and from the suspension of all the 
customary pursuits, has become a time of carnival. The floods, instead 
of creating disease, wash the surface of the earth, carry off vegetable 
and animal matter that would otherwise putrify, and are supposed to be 
rather conducive to health than otherwise. The old town, built on the 
first bank, has been stationary for many years. New Lawrenceburgh 
has been recently built on the second bank, and on elevated ground, 
formed by the bank of Tanner's Creek. Since the commencement of 
this town, few places have made more rapid progress. Many of the new 
houses are handsome, and some of them make a splendid show from the 
river. Its position in relation to the river, and the rich adjacent coun- 
try, and the Big Miami is highly eligible. It has a number of commenc- 
ing manufactories, and promises to be a large town." 


The following account of the murder of Palmer Warren by Amasa 
Fuller at Lawrenceburgh, in 1820, and the trial and execution of the 
latter, is taken from the Indiana Oracle of May 7, and August 15, 1820: 

" The Circuit Court for Dearborn County closed its session on Satur- 
day last. The whole of the term was consumed by the trial of Amasa 
Fuller, on an indictment for the murder of Palmer Warren. Few trials 
have excited more general interest, as well from the character and appear- 
ance of the prisoner, as from the circumstances which led to the atrocious 
deed. The circumstances are briefly these: Fuller had for some consid- 
erable time prior to the murder of Warren, been attentive to a young 
lady who was residing with her uncle in Lawrenceburgh. About the last 
of November, 1819, Fuller left this place for Brookville; while there, the 
unfortunate deceased commenced an intimacy with the young lady to 
whom Fuller had been before attached; their intimacy resulted in an 
engagement of marriage, which was to have been consummated on the 
fatal 10th of January, 1820. 

"It appeared in evidence, that about the middle or last of December, 
Fuller, then at Brookville, received a letter in the handwriting of War- 
ren, and signed by the young lady, inclosing a ring, in which she 
renounced all feelings of attachment toward him, and returned him the 
ring which she had received from him in pledge; that after the receipt 
of this letter. Fuller appeared gloomy and melancholy, and on Friday, 


January 7, he left Brookville on foot, and arrived at Lawreneeburgh in 
the evening of that day; after changing his wet clothes (it having rained) 
he went into the house of the young lady's uncle, next to Mr. Coburn's 
hotel, where he put up, and was there frequently between the time of his 
arrival from Brookville and the day of the murder; meeting Warren at 
the house he several times attempted to quarrel with him, which Warren 
as often declined. On Saturday, the 5th of January, it appeared that 
Fuller borrowed a pair of pistols with the avowed design of shooting at 
a mark, in which amusement he requested several young men to partici- 
pate. On the afternoon of that day, he asked a Mr. Hitchcock if he would 
go out and hunt with him; he replied that he would, and would go for 
his gun; Fuller answered, ' I do not hunt with guns, but with pistols.' 
On Sunday, January 9, Fuller seemed cool and collected, talked on vari- 
ous subjects with his fellow boarders, and declared he had no pretensions 
to the young lady in question. On Monday morning, January 10, he 
asked Mr. Hitchcock, when up in his room at the hotel, which was the 
best way to load a pistol and the surest way to kill; and observed, ' I am 
afraid that this pistol has not enough powder in it; how shall I shoot it 
off so as not to be heard ? (it must be observed that Warren's office is 
under the same roof with Coburn's Hotel.) Fuller went down stairs, 
and shortly after came up, saying, ' I have shot it off and no person heard 
me.' Fuller then loaded the pistols with powder and four slugs each. 
Hitchcock told him he hoped he had no evil design. Fuller replied, 'I 
have Dot, but will show you some fun.' Fuller then put on a great coat, 
which he had borrowed from Mr. Coburn, and feeling it had pockets, he 
put one pistol in each pocket of the coat, and walked down stairs, having 
previously asked Hitchcock if he could discover that he had pistols. It 
appeared further in evidence, that Fuller left the house, came back and 
went out again; he was seen by Mr. Farrar (who was standing in the 
door of his house, next but one to Warren's office), to come out of Coburn's 
bar-room about a yard behind Warren, who unlocked the door of his 
office and entered, followed by Fuller; in about three- fourths of a minute 
Mr. Farrar heard the report of a pistol in Warren's office, instantly ran 
there, and attempting to open the door, it was stopped by something, and 
looking down he discovered the body of Warren lying crosswise the door; 
he pushed open the door, and upon entering the office discovered Fuller 
standing beside the body, and the room tilled with smoke and the smell 
of powder. Warren was not yet dead, but struggling in the last agonies. 
Mr. Farrar seized hold of Fuller, exclaiming! 'Good heavens! Fuller, is 
it possible you have done this?' Fuller replied, *I am a man, and have 
acted the part of a man; I have been ridding the earth of a vile reptile; 
I glory in the deed! ' The pistols were found lying on the counter in 


the office, one discharged of its contents, the other still charged; a writ- 
ing was found on the iioov, the substance of which was, that Warren, in 
the presence of Almighty God, swore to renounce all pretensions to the 
young lady, and acknowledged himself to be a base liar and a scoundrel. 
Fuller said, after his arrest, that he had presented this paper to Warren^ 
desiring him to sign it; he refused; he then offered him a pistol, bidding 
him defend ^himself like a man; this Warren also refused, and that he 
then shot the cowardly rascal. The body of Warren was pierced with a 
wound just below the pap of the left breast. It does not appear that 
Warren had ever taken any undue advantages of Fuller, or even spoke 
a disrepectful word of him to the young lady or any other person. 

"The prosecution was conducted by Amos Lane and John Test, Esqs. , 
the prisoner was ably defended by Charles Dewey, Joseph S. Benham, 
Daniel J Caswell, William C. Drew, Samuel Q. Richardson, and Merrit 
S. Craig, Esqs. The counsel for the prisoner moved to continue the 
trial until the next term of this court, on an affidavit of the absence of 
two material witnesses. This motion was overruled by the court because 
not stating the facts to^be proved by those two witnesses. Another 
motion was then made for continuance by the counsel for the prisoner, 
on affidavit that popular prejudice ran so high, that the prisoner could 
not have a fair trial. The opinion of the Court was: That if the fact 
thus stated came to the knowledge of the prisoner subsequent to the 
former motion for a continuance, he would listen to it; but as it does 
not appear that it did, the motion was overruled. The defense set up 
on the trial was insanity. It, however, appeared in evidence that the 
prisoner had been thought by those witnesses who had seen him, to be 
more gloomy and melanchoUy than usual, and as if something disturbed 
his mind; but nothing like insanity was made out. After a long and 
patient hearing of the testimony, which was very consistent and positive, 
and after an able defense by the prisoner's counsel, the jury retired, 
and in about two hours returned into the court with a verdict of guilty. 
On Saturday morning the sentence of the court was passed by his honor, 
Judge Eggleston, that the prisoner at the bar be remanded to his place 
of confinement, and be thence conducted on Friday, the 31st of March? 
inst., to the place of execution, and be there hanged by the neck until he 
be dead! Fuller preserved throughout his trial, and at the time the 
Judge pronounced to him his awful doom that his days were numbered, 
a stern, inflexible countenance. 

"Yesterday (Tuesday, August 14, 1820) being the day appointed for 
the execution of Amasa Fuller, who was condemned for the murder of 
Palmer Warren, thousands of men, women and children, from all quarters^ 
assembled to witness the awful spectacle. At about 11:30 o'clock A. M., 


the prisoner was conducted from the jail, accompanied^by several minis- 
ters of the gospel, and under a strong military guard; on reaching the 
scaffold he ascended the ladder with a firm and steady[step; a^ psalm 
was then sung; the throne of Grace was addressed by the Eev. Mr. 
Lambden (who had attended him for several days), a short address was 
then made to the multitude by the Rev. Mr. Plummer, after which the 
ordinance of baptism was administered to him by Mr. Lambden. After 
taking an affectionate leave of the ministers, sheriff, and a few others, 
the cap was drawn over his face, and at about 12:30 the drop fell — here 
let us pavise — the rope broke, and he fell to the ground. He was imme- 
diately again suspended, and after a few struggles his spirit took its 
flight, we trust, to take a seat in that mansion above, 'not made with 
hands, eternal in the heavens.' The body hung about forty minutes, 
when it was cut down and given to his friends for interment. 

"This unfortunate man had long been one of the strongest advocates 
for infidelity, but, oh, with what rapture do we proclaim to his friends, 
to the world of mankind, that he gave the blessed assurance that it 
pleased the Almighty to open his eyes to the truth of the gospel. He 
publicly renounced all his former opinions and relied wholly upon the 
merits of the Redeemer for a blessed immortality. " 


From the year 1820 to 1830 the town increased beyond the expecta- 
tions of the incorporators; the future prospects were indeed gratifying; 
everything indicated that the town was destined to become one of the 
largest in our State, all the various kinds of manufactories'^ were being 
established. Substantial buildings were rapidly being erected, and a 
spirit of energy and enterprise seemed to pervade all the citizens, who 
ever took a just pride in a town of their creation. Substantial churches 
and schoolhouses were being built, good and wholesome laws were being 
adopted for the government of the corporation, and all was prosperous 
until the year 1832, when the great floods of that year seemed to crush 
for a time its growth, and dampened the energy of its citizens. The 
flood occurred in February of that year, and rose to a greater height 
than any that had preceded it since the settlement of this town, or any 
that has occurred since that date. It was between two and three feet 
above the present level of High Street. It was quite disastrous, destroy- 
ing a great deal of property, and carrying off a number of small frame 
and log-houses. The town presented a novel appearance for nearly two 
weeks; the entire business was carried on by the citizens floating around 
on rudely constructed rafts. There were no promenade concerts, and 
the old-fashioned, quilting parties our early dames delighted in, were 


unavoidably postponed. Everybody was on a common level, and the 
cattle and hogs had rights that were respected, and after the waters had 
subsided, it was discovered that an old sow had taken posession of the 
pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church on Walnut street; and dur- 
ing the entire time remained secure in her devotions from the interference 
of the outside rabble. 

Near this time there occurred an accident that cast a gloom over 
the town. The little log-house erected on the southwest corner of High 
and Walnut Streets, by William Morgan, was still standing, and in it 
was kept a store by Darragh & Askew; adjoining on High Street, Mv. 
John L. Bishop had erected a brick building for a saddler shop, and run 
up a fire wall next to the log building. One evening during a storm, the 
fire wall was blown over upon the log building. There were in it at the 
time Mr. Askew Darragh, John Mason, James M. Brasher and Thomas 
Longley. Mr. Askew was instantly killed. Mason was so severely hurt 
that he died in a short time afterward. Darragh, Brasher and Longley 
escaped with very slight injuries. 

For a few years, the improvement of the city was very slack, but 
upon the passage of the Internal Improvement Bill by the Legislature, 
and the town being made the terminus of the White Water Canal, a fresh 
impetus was given, and buildings and manufactories were erected rapidly. 
The most of the three- story blocks of business houses in the city at pres- 
ent, were built during this period, including the old bank building. A. 
P. Hobb's distillery was built in 1836. E. D. Johns' flour-mill, known 
now as the Old Water Mill, in 1837. Brown & Lamping were manufact- 
uring furniture where Burkam's planing-mills are. Edwin G. Pratt had 
a foundry in Newtown. John B. Carrington, a man of extraordinary 
mechanical genins, was engaged in making steam engines. George H. 
Dunn and John Test were engaged in testing the capacity of the town to 
support a cotton factory, between the vacation of their courts, as they 
were both very prominent lawyers, but men of great energy, and devoted 
to building up the town of their pride. The report comes down to us 
that the project succeeded in the same degree that our magnificent woolen 
mills of to-day has. Very soon the spindles remained idle. Cooperage 
was manufactured to a large extent, and a great deal of pork was an- 
nually packed here. Hon. George H. Dunn had commenced his project 
to build a railroad from here to Indianapolis, and urged it forward with 
his usual characteristic energy, the citizens of the town rendering their 
iiniversal support, and contributing liberally of their means, but was 
ultimately forced to abandon it, Mr. Vandegraflf, the chief engineer 
having died near Greensburgh, while engaged in making the survey, 
which caused the suspension of the work for some time. Afterward the 


survey was completed, estimates made, and contracts for work entered 
into, and commenced in many places along the line, when on account of 
the financial difficulties of 1838 and 1839, the company was forced to 
abandon the undertaking, resulting in a heavy loss to many uf the 
stockholders, and a great detriment to the growth of the city." 


The anniversary of American Independence in 1831 was celebrated in 
Lawrenceburgh by the different Sabbath-schools in the neighborhood. 
About 11 o'clock a procession was forrned on High Street, under the 
direction of the marshals of the day, and proceeded to a grove about one- 
quarter of a mile from town, where the Declaration of Independence was 
read, and a very appropriate and eloquent address delivered by Judge 
Holman. After which suitable refreshments were distributed among the 
children, and they were then marched back to town and dismissed; pres- 
ent 1,000 persons. 

On the same day a number of citizens convened at the house of Mr. 
H. Fitch, and partook of an excellent dinner prepared by him. The 
company then removed to another table, prepared for drinking toasts, 
where the Declaration of Independence was read by Judge Test, and a 
variety of patriotic toasts disposed of with the utmost harmony and good 
feeling. Capt. Thomas Porter presided on this occasion. 


Old and New Lawrenceburgh were incorporated as a city in 1846, 
under " an act granting the citizens of Madison and Lawrenceburgh a 
City Charter. " The first election was held at Lawrenceburgh April 6, 
1846, at which were elected David Macy and Milton Beach, councilmen 
for the First Ward, and Gardner Elliott for the Second Ward. By the 
"Indiana Register," a State work published in 1846, Lawrenceburgh then 
contained a population of 3,000. The names of the attorneys, physi- 
cians and business men given in that publication were as follows: Attor- 
neys — George H. Dunn, Amos Lane, P. L. Spooner, John Ryman, D. S. 
Major, Abram Brower, D. Macy, William S. Holman, James T. Brown, 
James H. Lane, J. S. Jelley and T. Gazley ; physicians — Ezra Ferris, 
Jeremiah H. Brown, Elisha Morgan, M. H. Harding, E. P. Bond, Milo 
Black and William Starm ; principal merchants — George Tonsey, C. G. 
W. Comegys, John Gray, Craft & Co., Lemly & Dunn, Wymond & Ferris, 
Houck & Wedelstaldt, J. Gyse & Co. , R. & A. Parry, L. B. Lewis, James 
S. Heath, John Ferris & Co. 


Important eras in the city's history, which greatly contributed to its 



growth and progress, were in the decade between 1830 and 1840, when 
was agitated the question of internal improvements; the bill passing in 
1836, which led to the construction of the Whitewater Canal soon after, 
the terminus of which was at Lawi-enceburgh; the agitation and build- 
ing of the railroads through the city, which were soon thereafter begun, 
though not completed until early in the decade between 1850 and 1860, 
and the introduction and building of the macadamized roads and pikes, 
which were begun late in the decade between 1830 and 1840, and were 
gradually completed and extended in succeeding decades. In the year 
1850 Mr. George H. Dunn, the leading spirit in the building of the 
Lawrenceburgh & Indiannpolis Railroad, succeeded in reviving the com- 
pany, which on account of the fijiancial difficulties of 1838 and 1839 
had been forced to abandon the undertaking, and the road was complet- 
ed. From that date to the present time, the city has continued to enjoy 
a slow and sure growth, and has become noted for its various manufacto- 
ries, and the enterprise of its citizens. 

The census of 1830 gave Lawrenceburgh a population of 895; the 
estimated population of 1833 was 1,000, when the place presented 9 
mercantile stores, 1 drug store, 3 taverns, eight lawyers, 4 physi- 
cians, 3 schools, 2 brick churches, a brick court house, a stone jail, 
a market house, and 2 printing offices, each of which issued a weekly 
newspaper; and since 1840, as given by the United States census, 
at each decade (except 1860) it has been as follows: 1840, 1,450; 1850, 
2,651; 1870, 3,159; 1880, 4,700. The population is now (1885) estimat- 
ed at upward of 5,000. Of the population of 1880,4,700, 1,075 were 
of foreign birth. During the decade between 1870 and 1880 the city was 
in a flourishing condition, and ranked among the first manufacturing 
cities in the State. At this writing (1885) though having escajDed but 
one year out of four, during which the city was submerged throughout 
by the floods of the Ohio River, causing a great destruction of property, 
besides a suspension of business for days and weeks at a time, the citi- 
zens ai'e evincing a determination to maintain the high position the 
city has gained as a manufacturing point, and a spirit of enterprise and 
public improvement is exhibited by them never excelled under like cir- 
cumstances. During the building season of 1883, after the second flood, 
in addition to reconstructing houses wrecked by the flood, over fifty new 
buildings were erected, costing from $500 to 83,000 each. The previous 
season (1882) there were fifty- one buildings erected. In 1880 the city 
presented sixteen productive establishments of industry, with a capital 
of $1,350,000 invested, and a total value of manufactured products of 
$1,895,952 during the census year, for which was paid for wages $290,- 
967. This included only those factories that produced over $500 annu- 



On the southeast corner of Walnut and High Streets is located a 
graceful three- story brick building, 44x75 feet, the first floor of which is 
used as store rooms, the second as a public or city hall, and the third 
floor is the Odd Fellows Hall, for which purpose the building was erected 
in 1853 at U cost of about $8,000 in round numbers, the greater portion 
of which was subscribed by the order of Odd Fellows of the city. The 
building was completed in 1855, and Oddl Fellows Hall dedicated June 
6 of that year. The completion of this edifice was the occasion of some 
demonstration on the part of the citizens of the city. On the morning 
of its dedication. Grand Representative Daniel Moss, of Grreensburg, 
Ind., officiated as Grand Master at the ceremonies held in the hall. In 
the afternoon the order, attired in their rich regalia, formed in a proces- 
sion attended by the Newport Brass Band, paraded the streets and 
assembled at the depot of the Big Four Railroad, where an address was 
delivered by Rev. I. D. Williamson, of Cincinnati. During the after- 
noon and evening the ladies held a strawberry festival at the hall. 

THE CITY, 1858-59. 

From a business standpoint Lawrenceburgh made the following 
exhibit in 1858-59: 1 steam flouring-mill, 1 water flouring-mill, 3 dis- 
tilleries, 2 breweries, 5 hotels, 2 newspaper offices, 6 churches and 10 
schools, with an estimated population of 4,000 inhabitants. 

Adler, L., milliner. 

Adler, H., dealer in dry goods. 

Armstrong, C , manufacturer of chairs and furniture. 

Anderson, B. T. W. S., proprietor eating saloon. 

Bartholomew, Joseph, proprietor Lawrenceburgh House. 

Barkdall, D. S., cooper. 

Beckenholdt, John, brewer. 

Beckman, Alexander, proprietor wharf boat and commission merchant, 

Boese, H, confectioner and dealer in fancy goods. 

Bolander, Amos, proprietor Bolander House. 

Bookwalter, A., editor and proprietor Democratic Register. 

Brodbeck, George, ice cream saloon. 

Brown, William, manufacturer of furniture. 

Brown, James T., attorney at law. 

Browneller, F., tanner and currier. 

Bryant & Lord, manufacturers steam engines and boilers, saw and 
grist-mi ir machinery, etc. 

Buel, G. P., produce and commission merchant. 

Carbaugh & Braun, grocers. 


Chapman & Sons, grocers. 

Chew, J. P., dealer in books, stationery, etc., and agent Adams 
Express Co. 

Crist & Bell, dealers in hardware. 

Crontz, J. D., blacksmith. 

Crooker, Mrs. E. A., milliner and dress-maker. 

Dexheimer, Philip, blacksmith. 

Dorr, v., blacksmith. 

Dorr, J., wagon- maker. 

Dowden, O. W., saddler and harness-maker. 

Drake & Merrill, wagon-makers. 

Dunn, Mrs. S. E., ambrotypist. 

Eckert, M., boot and shoe-maker. 

Edwards, Miss Annie, milliner. 

Ferguson, G. W., house and sign painter. 

Ferris & Abbott, druggists. 

Ferris, J., insurance agent. 

Fichter, M., boot and shoe-maker. 

Finney, Gr. B., pump-maker. 

Fitch, D. C, grocer. 

Fitch, H,, proprietor Fitch House. 

Focal, Peter, proprietor Railroad House. 

Frances, J. & T., carpenters. 

Frederick, P., brick- maker. 

Prein, P., boot and shoe- maker. 

Gaff & Marshall, millers and distillers. 

Gurnier & Ebert, brewers. 

Guzley, T. & C, attorneys. 

Grojf, R., dealer in hats and caps. 

Gysie, J., grocer and dealer in liquors. 

Harding & Tate, physicians and surgeons. 

Hanbold, N. , boot and shoe-maker. 

Hauck, J. J., hardware dealer. 

Heifer & Woodward, carriage manufacturers. 

Helmuth, H. R., dealer in dry goods. 

Henry, J. W., saddles and harness. 

Herrold, H., daguerrean artist. 

Hirsch, H., tobacconist. 

Hitzfield, A., dealer in wines and liquors. 

Hitzfield, A., attorney. 

Hobbs, H. K., cashier Branch Bank. 

Hommer, J., grocer. 


Hornberger, John, dealer in wines and liquors. 

Huschart, G., dealer in marble. 

Johnson, F. S., stoves and tinware. 

Junker, J. M. , boot and shoe-maker. 

Junker, A., barber. 

Kalen, B., tailor. 

Kauffman, I. C, cooper. 

Kestner, G. A., proprietor Rossville Exchange. 

Kraas, William, grocer and baker. 

Kramer, F., grocer and liquor dealer. 

Krastner, A. grocer. 

Luke, Miss Martha, milliner. 

Lewis & Eichelberger,'*^millers. 

Lewis & Moore, dealers in dry goods. 

Lewis, L. B. & Bro., dry goods dealers. 

Loge, J. P., clothier. 

Lominel, H., grocer. 

Lommel, P., resturantand grocer, 

Lucas, T. J., watchmaker and jeweler. 

Ludlow & Tate, lumber dealers and manufacturers. 

Lutman, H., boot and shoe-maker. 

Lyons, M., tobacconist. 

Mass, M. , merchant tailor. 

McCormick, J., merchant tailor. 

McGrath, T., blacksmith. 

Major, D. S., attorney. 

Martin, S. A., editor and proprietor Republican Banner. 

Martin, S., cooper. 

Moody, A., barber. 

Moody, I., barber. 

Mooney, J., clothier. 

Moore & Spooner, grocers. 

Moore, Mrs. L. A., milliner. 

Moore, Reuben, cooper. 

Morgan & Son, distillers. 

Morgan, A., dry goods and groceries. 

Morgan, F., boot and shoe-maker. 

Nevitt, Major & Co., commission merchants. 

Puny, R. H., dealer in dry goods. 

Pfeister, F., boot and shoe-maker. 

Ret j en, C, barber. 

Richards, J. F., justice of the peace. 


Eiddell, F., postmaster. 

Rittenhouse & Williams, millers and distillers. 
Rodgers, R., livery stable. 
Roth, Michael, grocer. 
Schmidt, J. F., boarding house and saloon. 
Schmitt, A., physician and surgeon. 
Schneider, W. boot and shoe-maker. 
Schwartz, John, attorney (mayor). 
Schwartz, Alex, dealer in wines and liquors. 
Schwartz, Alex, clothier. 
Siemandel, J. cooper. 
Sheldon, G. B., stoves and timware. 
Smith, H. F., grocer. 
Smith. H. F., coal dealer. 
Sparks, D. E., dealer in dry goods. 
Sparks, N., grocer. 
Spooner, P. L., attorney. 
Spoon er, B. J., attorney. 
Stum, Andrew, cooper. 
Swope, J. H., cooper. 
Temple, C. W., insurance agent. 
Ulrey, J. P., dentist. 
Walter, R., druggist. 
Wipple, A., proprietor Washington Hall. 
Water, P., blacksmith. 
Werneke & Muerman, tobacconists. 
Wert, W., cooper. 
White, Mrs. E., dressmaker. 
Wuest, P. H., baker. 
^Wymond, John, grocer, 
Zimmerman, P., tailor. 


The first banking institution! of the early village was known as the 
Farmers and Mechanics Bank, which had an existence, probably, of not 
more than a decade at the furthest. Its business was carried on in the 
brick building adjoining the residence of W. D. H. Hunter, on High 
Street, a date on the building indicating that it was erected in 1817. 
Isaac Dunn was president, and Thomas Porter was cashier of this bank 
at about this time. In 1820 the directors of this bank were Isaac Dunn, 
Ezra Ferris, Isaac Morgan, Walter Armstrong, John Weaver, David 
Guard, Lazarus Noble, Stephen Ludlow, Levi Miller, Moses Schott, 
George Weaver, Samuel Bond and Amos Lane. 


The State Bank of Indiana was chartered January 13, 1834, and com- 
menced operations November 19, of that year, with ten branches, having 
a capital stock of 11,760,000. A branch was established at Lawrence- 
burgh, November 15, of that year. The first board of directors were 
Omar Tousey, William Tait, Norval Sparks, J. P. Dunn, Walter Hayes, 
George Tousey, D. S. Major and Richard Tyner, of Brookville. The 
directors on the part of the State were Pinkney James and Jesse Hunt. 
The first president of the bank was Omar Tousey, and the first cashier 
Enoch D. John. The institution was to have commenced operations in 
the latter part of November, 1834, with a capital stock of $80,000. The 
branch at Lawrenceburgh erected the elegant and substantial banking 
house on the northeast side of Short Street between High and the Ohio 
& Mississippi Railroad, now occupied by the Peoples National Bank. 
This bank, on the expiration of its charter, was succeeded by the Bank 
of the State of Indiana, a branch of which was established at Lawrence- 
buro-h, the business of which was carried on in the same building above 
referred to, and under the same regime, the latter being officered for 
some years by E. G. Burkam as president, and H. K. Hobbs, cashier. 

August 5, 1863, was organized the First National Bank of Lawrence- 
burgh by Walter Hayes, Joseph Hayes, Jr., Anson Marshall, Theodore 
Gazlay, Carter Gazlay, DeWitt C. Fitch, Ezra G. Hayes, Samuel Morri- 
son, Isaac Dunn, Thomas Sunman, Samuel L. Jones, James C. Hayes and 
James C. Martin, with a capital stock of $55,000. The directors were 
Walter Hayes, Samuel Morrison, Samuel L. Jones, DeWitt C. Fitch, 
Carter Gazlay, E^J. Hayes and Joseph Hayes, Sr. ; president, DeWitt 
C. Fitch; Isaac Dunn, cashier. The bank was carried on in the building 
located on Short Street, nearly opposite the Peoples' National Bank, is 
built of brick and two stories high, 24x64 feet, fire proof, 
with the Masonic Lodge]in the upper story. It is fitted up in fine 
style for the business, with a fire proof vault, and one of Hall's latest im- 
proved burglar safes. At different times the capital stock was increased 
until it reached $100,000. Mr. Fitch was annually elected its president 
from its organization to its close. This bank, on the expiration of its 
charter, merged into the City National Bank of Lawrenceburgh, in Feb- 
ruary, 1883, which suspended business in August, 1883. 

On the 19th of June, 1865, the old branch of the bank of the 
State was transferred into a national bank with a paid up capital of 
$200,000. The directors were] Joseph H. Burkam, Joseph Hayes, Sr., 
Ezra, G. Hayes, L. B. Lewis, K. M. Lewis, E. S. Blasdell, Warren 
West, W. H. Baker, Samuel Morrison. Ezra G. Hayes was chosen 
president and L. B. Lewis cashier. The county press at this time thus 
commented on this organization: "The large wealth, high moral stand- 


ing and business qualifications of the owners, directors and officers is 
an ample and sufficient guarantee to the public for any confidence that 
may be reposed in the institution." The business of the bank was 
transacted under the name off the Lawrenceburgh National Bank. In 
1872, this bank was succeeded by a private bank styled the Lawrence- 
burgh Banking Company, owned and managed by E. G. and J. H. 
Burkam, which in February, 1875, was succeeded by a private bank 
styled the Peoples Bank under the firm name of William Probasco, 
Braun & Co., with a capital of from $50,000 to $100,000. January 1, 
1882, the Peoples Bank merged into the Peoples National Bank, with a 
capital stock of $100,000, conducted under the same management and offi- 
cered by William Probasco, president; Henry Probasco, vice-president; 
Peter Braun, cashier; and Will Braun, assistant cashier; all men whose 
business qualifications are well known and appreciated, and who have the 
entire confidence of the city and surrounding country. Mr. Braun 
(who has had many years'experience in the banking business), and his son 
are courteous and affable men to transact bu.siness with. This, the only 
living bank of the city, is carried on in the building erected by the 
branch of the State bank. 

THE FIRE OF JULY 4, 1866. 

Probably the greatest fire that ever visited the city, which in two 
hours laid waste fifteen or twenty buildings and stables in the central 
portion of the place, destroying property to the value of $60,000, oc- 
curred July 4, 1866. The fire originated in a shed in the rear of the prop- 
erty formerly owned by William Kraas, on High Street, between Short 
and Elm. The heaviest loss was by Lewis & Eichelberger, who had over 
1,000 barrels of dour and 15,000 empty barrels burned in their ware- 
house; total including building $20,000, fully covered by insurance. The 
next heaviest loss was by Bryant & Lord, of their foundry buildings, 
some machinery, and a large number of valuable patterns, also their 
dwelling on Elm Street; loss $15,000, insured for $3,000. John H. 
Ross' dwelling; loss $2,500, insurance $1,000. Isaac Dunn's loss, 
dwelling occupied by Mrs. Strange Dunn, $1,000, barn and contents 
$2,000, insurance $700. Nevitt & Major's warehouse, loss $5,000. Jas. 
Wyman & Co., 500 oil barrels stored in warehouse, $1,000. Mr, Van- 
horn, 100 tons of hay, insurance $1,000. Lawrenceburgh woolen factory, 
machinery stored in warehouse, value $1,000, insurance $850. M, 
Zimmer two-story brick bake shop and out-buildings, loss $1,000. There 
were a number of minor losses. 



The Methodist Episcopal Church of Laivrenceburgh. — Since its first 
planting in this country a little over 100 years ago, Methodism has 
always kept even pace with Western immigration. Scarcely has the rude 
cabin of the forest been completed, and the first fire kindled upon the 
earthen hearth by the venturesome immigi-ant, till the Methodist preacher, 
blazing his way through the almost unbroken forest in search of the lost 
sheep of Israel, has knocked at his door and shared the hospitality of his 

Literally was this true with regard to the present site and adjacent 
vicinity of Lawrenceburgh. When but few trees had yet been felled, 
and few cabins reared, when there was no nucleus of a town here, per- 
haps even before Jabez Percival, Hamilton, and Oapt. Vance had erected 
their log-houses at this place along the banks of the Ohio, the Methodist 
preacher, with saddle bags and umbrella (necessary companions of the 
early pioneer ministers), visited this place, collected the widely scattered 
settlers to a private house, broke to them the bread of life, aud organ- 
ized the believers into a society. 

As early as the year 1802, the present site and adjacent vicinity of 
Lawrenceburgh, being included in what was known as the Miami circuit, 
had the pastoral care of Elisha W. Bowman, with quarterly visitations of 
William Burk, a man of sterling qualities, as presiding elder, who served 
in this capacity for the disciplinary limit of four years. During the years 
1802 and 1803, while Mr. Hamilton, Jabez Percival and Capt. 
Vance were building their rude dwellings and searching through the cat- 
alogue of cities to find a name for the coming town — in which the latter 
succeeded, calling it Lawrence, after his wife's maiden name — Revs. 
John Sales and Joseph Oglesby, having been appointed to this circuit, 
were here prospecting as to the probable future of the town, and laying 
down the foundation principles of a spiritual city. These two heroic 
men of precious memory were succeeded the following conference year, 
which embraced a part of 1805 and 1806, by Revs. Banjamin Lakin and 
Joshua Riggin. At the close of their term of service, which during this 
period of the church was practically limited to one year, the name of this 
circuit was changed from Miami to Whitewater Circuit, and Thomas 
Heliums and Sela Paine were the preachers, with John Sale as presiding 
elder, who continued on the district four years. To these two good men 
succeeded, in 1807, Joseph Williams and Hezekiah Shaw, who were fol- 
lowed, in 1808, by Hector Sanford and Moses Grume; and on the expira- 
tion of their term of service, Samuel H. Thomson and Thomas Nelson 
were appointed to the charge, and served one conference year, it being 
a part of 1809 and 1810. 


At this time there seeais to have been a general i-eorganization of the 
work. The name of the district was changed from the Ohio, by which 
it had been called from the beginning, except the first year, to the Miami 
District, and Solomon Langdon, was appointed presiding elder, his 
predecessor retiring by limitation of office; and the circuit appears to 
have been so diminished in number of appointments that one man could 
supply it, and accordingly Moses Grume was reappointed to the circuit 
without an assistant, only one year having intervened between this and 
his former appointments to this work. 

At the close of his pastorate, which occurred in the fall of 1811, the 
name of the circuit was again changed to Lawrenceburgh, and Walter 
Griffith appointed to it. He was succeeded by William Dixon. And 
then again, Moses Grume — as if he were peculiarly adapted to this 
charge — was reappointed to the circuit, with Samuel Parker as presid- 
ing elder. In the fall of 1814, at the close of Mr. Grume's third pastor- 
ate, the eloquent John Strange was appointed to the circuit, and John 
Sale to the district. These two Johns of remarkable talent were suc- 
ceeded by David Sharpe as pastor, and Moses Grume as presiding elder. 

The next year Russell Bigelow and Allen Wiley (two sons of thunder, 
whose names will not soon be forgotton), were appointed to the circuit, 
and the following year Allen Wiley was returned to the circuit, with 
Samuel West as preacher in charge, this being the first time in which a 
preacher was sent to this charge for the second year. John Sale was re- 
appointed to tJie district in place of Moses Grume, who retired in the 
fall of 1817, and who appears no more in the list of appointments for 
this section of the church. Twice was he presiding elder on the Miami 
District, and at three different times was he the pastor of the Meth- 
odist people of this town and vicinity. The next conference year, which 
embraced a part of 1818 and 1819, Benjamin Lawrence traveled the cir- 
cuit alone, and the following year he was reappointed, with Henry F. 
Fernandes, junior preacher, John Sales continuing on the district. 

Up to this time the Methodists of Lawrenceburgh were unable to 
own a church building, and had been obliged to hold their meetings at 
first in private dwellings and afterward in a log-schoolhouse that stood 
on the court house common. But now that their members and financial 
ability had attained to considerable strength it was proposed to build a 
house of worship, and, accordingly, in the year 1821 the now old brick 
church on Walnut Street, still standing, was founded, built and dedicated 
to the worship of God. At ihls time the eloquent John P. Durbin, now 
ex-missionary secretary of the Methodist Episcopal Ghurch, and James 
Gollard were the preachers on the circuit, and Walter Griffith was pre- 
siding elder. This was a time of joy and gladness to the Methodists of 


Lawrenceburgh. Though this house was long since abandoned for a 
more commodious one, to many who are yet living there are precious 
memories clustering about this spot. Besides the blessings attending 
the regular services of the place, this church was visited with many 
extraordinary " refreshings from the presence of the Lord." In this 
church was held the memorable revival of John Newland Moffatt. 

In 1822 Henry Baker having been appointed to Lawrenceburgh Cir- 
cuit, of course had charge of this church. In 1823 the memorable Will- 
iam H. Raper, of Ohio, was appointed to the charge, and in 1824 re- 
appointed, with John Jayne as junior preacher, Alexander Cummins 
serving as presiding elder for these two years. 

The name of the district was again changed in the fall of 1824, and 
was now called the Madison District, and John Strange was appointed 
presiding elder, and James Jones and Thomas S. Hitt to the circuit. 
The following two years James L. Thompson was the preacher in charge, 
and George Ransdell assistant for the second year; and these two were 
succeeded by Allen Wiley and Daniel Newton. Allen Wiley was now 
placed upon the district, where he remained four years, and Nehemiah 
B. Griffith and Enoch G. Wood were appointed, in the fall of 1828, to 
the circuit, the latter of whom has once since been the pastor of the 
church in Lawrenceburgh, and is now (this centennial year) presiding 
elder of Moore's Hill District, of which a prominent appointment is 
Lawrenceburgh. How marvelously has the Lord preserved this veteran 
of the cross! Since his first appointment to this charge to the present 
time — a period of foi'ty-eight years — he has stood in the front ranks of 
the hottest of the battle, and still is fresh and strong, bidding fair for 
years of active service. In 1829 N. B. Griffith was appointed to the cir- 
cuit, with Richard S. Robinson, assistant. John W. McReynolds and 
Alfred J. Arrington were next appointed, and their successors were Joseph 
Oglesby and John C. Smith. With this year (1832), Allen Wiley's 
time on this district having expired, James Havens, the fearless pioneer of 
Western Methodism, was appointed presiding elder, and Joseph Oglesby 
and his colleague were returned to the circuit. After one year we find 
Allen Wiley again on the district, where he remained three years; and 
the former pastors were succeeded in 1833 by William M. Daily and 
John Daniels, followed in 1834 by C. M. Holliday and Silas Rawson, 
and these again in 1835 by Rodman, David Stiver and James V. Watson. 

In 1836 Enoch G. Wood was reappointed to the district, and James 
Jones and William B. Ross to Lawrenceburgh Circuit, and the following 
year Mr. Jones was returned as preacher in charge, with Samuel T.Gillett 
and Silas Rawson, assistants. This was the last year of Lawrenceburgh 
Circuit, Lawrenceburofh having been ir the fall of 1838 constituted into 


a separate and independent charge, and distinguished as Lawrencebnrgh 
Station. The first pastor under this arrangement was Joseph TarJiiugton, 
now venerable with age but fresh and cheerful as in his youth. Brother 
Tarkington was succeeded in 1839 bj^ Mr. B. Hibben, and in 1840 by 
John C. Smith, and in 1841 and 1842 by Samuel T. Gillett. 

In 1843 the name of the district was changed from Madison to Ris- 
ing Sun District, and James Jones made presiding elder, and Rich- 
ard S. Robinson pastor of Lawrencebnrgh Station. He was followed in 
1844 by James Hill and in 1845 by A-ugustus Eddy. The district in 
1846 was again called Lawrenceburgh, and Enoch G. Wood was 
appointed to it, and Mr. Eddy was returned to Lawrenceburgh Church. 
During the years of 1847 and 1848 this church was under the pastorate 
of C. B. Davidson. The last two years marked a neW epoch in the 
Methodism of Lawrenceburgh. Like the prophet's house, the old church 
had become " too straight " for them, and the question of a more com- 
modious one was forced upon the congregation. 

The present church was built in 1847, and dedicated the same year 
by Bishop Hamline, after whom it was named. Its first board of trustees 
was composed of the following persons: Omer Tousey, George Tousey, 
Levin B. Lewis, Jacob P. Dunn, Edward Tate, John Callahan and Will- 
iam S. Durbin, and these being transferred from the trusteeship of the 
old church on Walnut Street. The board of stewards regularly 
appointed for this church were George Tousey, John Callahan, Wexham 
West, J. H. Brower, Jacob P. Dunn and John Binegar. The class lead- 
ers were Isaac Dunn, William S. Durbin, L. B. Lewis, E. G. Brown and 
George Tousey. The succession of pastors and presiding elders since 
the erection of the present church is as follows: In the fall of 1849, 
Thomas H. Rucker was made pastor of Hamline Chapel, and John A. 
Brouse, presiding elder. Mr. Rucker was succeeded the next two years 
by F. C. Holliday, who is still in the effective work. In 1852 the latter 
was appointed to the district, and James Crawford to Lawrenceburgh 
Station, who was returned for the second year. He was succeeded by 
Hiram Gilmore in 1854, and he in 1855 and 1856 by Enoch G. Wood; 
Giles C. Smith being made presiding elder at the last date mentioned, 
Enoch G. Wood was succeeded in 1857 and 1858 by Elijah D. Long. 
During these two years under the ministry of Brother Long, the church 
was blessed with an almost unbroken revival, of which much fruit 
remains at the present day. For true piety and devotion to the work of 
saving souls the church is seldom blessed with the equal of Brother 
Long. His memory is precious. Thomas H. Lynch was appointed to 
the district in 1859, and Francis A. Hester to the Lawrenceburgh Sta- 
tion, and the following year Elijah D. Long was appointed to the dis- 


trict, and F. A. Hester was returned to this charge. During the years 
1861-62 the church had the pastoral care of John S. Tevis, and Sampson 
Tincher was appointed to the district in the last year mentioned. In 
1863 and 1864 William C. Ransdell was appointed to Hamline Chapel; 
and it will be remembered that this was the last charge upon earth for 
this young and promising minister of the gospel, for the Great Bishop, 
that is above all bishops had appointed him to a higher service. Though 
this beloved pastor died in the early part, of his second year, it may be 
said to the credit of the church they continued to pay his salary in full 
for the rest of the year, and meanwhile employed the ministerial services 
of John Lewis to fill out his unexpired term. Francis A. Hester was again 
appointed to this charge in 1865, and in 1866 reappointed, with Fer- 
nandez C. Holliday, presiding elder. Brother Hester was succeeded the 
following two years by John G. Chafee; James Lathrop on the district. 

During the last year of Mr. Chafee's pastorate the present parson- 
age property on High Street was purchased at a cost of $2,500. The 
raising of this money was mostly due to the ladies of the church, to 
whom, ever since, has been committed the necessary repairs and general 
oversight of the parsonage. George P. Jenkins was appointed at Law- 
renceburgh Station in 1869, and was reappointed in 1870 and in 
1871. This was the first instance since 'the extension of the pastoral 
term to three years in which any minister had been returned to this 
charge for the third year. During the last date F. C. Holliday was 
presiding elder of the district. To Mr. Jenkins the church of Lawrence- 
burgh is indebted for the valuable historical matters which he has writ- 
ten up and neatly recorded in the church record, and without which the 
present history could scarcely have be'en written. This cost him 
no inconsiderable amount of time and labor, for which the church owes 
him a debt of gratitude. In the fall of 1872, R. D. Robinson was ap- 
pointed to the presiding eldership of the district, and Sampson Tincher 
was appointed to the Lawrenceburgh Station, and by reappointment was 
continued in the charge for three years. These were three years of gen- 
eral quiet in the church, but nothing of very special interest is recorded. 
In 1878 the venerable Enoch G. Wood was appointed to the Moore's 
Hill District, as it is now called, and reappointed in 1874-75; and in 
the last year S. S. McMahan was appointed to the pastorate of Lawrence- 
burgh Station. 

Thus we have traced the ministerial appointments of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church of Lawrenceburgh and vicinity, including the general 
history of its progress through a period of seventy-five years — from the 
beginning to the present centenial year. It will be observed that the 
Methodist Church of this place has been blessed with the varied minis- 


try of very able men, some of whom were or have become representative 
men of the denomination. During the long period of seventy years, 
with slight exception, the church has not been called to suffer from the 
defection of any of its pastors; neither for the same length of time have 
they suffered the loss of but one — William G. Ransdell — by death while 
serving them. This we think worthy of recording as matter of gratitude 
to God who preserveth the integrity of his workmen and in whose sight 
their lives have been precious. 

Precisely what iniliience this individual church has had on the sev- 
eral generations of the people of the city and vicinity since its organi- 
tion, and on the Methodism of the State, it is, of course, impossible to 
say; but we may fairly presume that it has been very considerable. 
Many hundreds, if not thousands, have been converted to God at its 
altars, and many of these have been men of mark, not only as examples 
of strong religious character and workmen in the church, but in business 
circles as well. Some of them have gone out over the State and influenced 
Methodism abroad, not a few of them being enrolled in the Methodist 
Churches of Indianapolis. A few — and we are sorry to say so few — 
have gone out from this church into the ministry. HoseaDurbin, whose 
ministry was short, and perhaps two brothei's Mulfinger, are all that can 
be remembered. While many who have been converted in this church 
have not kept the faith, the great body of the membership have lived to 
adorn Christian religion, and have died in the very gateways of Heaven. 
Among the deceased standard bearers of the church who are still fresh 
in the memories of the living may be mentioned Omer Tousey, Judge 
Dunn, James Thomson, George Sheldon, William Brown, Ellis Brown, 
Benjamin Stockman, Hamlet Sf)arks, Oliver Tousey, James Jones, D. S. 
Major, Dr. William Tate, and many others whose names will long be 
cherished for their exemplary lives and devotion to the church. And 
here it would be\injust to omit reference to another large class of per- 
sons to whom the church in Lawrenceburgh has been at all times deeply 
indebted for both its temporal and spiritual prosperity. We refer to those 
women who labored in the gospel, elect ladies who have been ready to 
second and carry forward every good work. Many of this class whose 
lives were eminently useful to the church on earth, are now serving in the 
heavenly mansions; but there still remains a goodly number on whom 
the spirit of the Lord rests, and who have a mind to work. 

Though the Lawrenceburgh Methodist Episcopal Church still main- 
tains its spirituality, it is at the present time, owing to the very large 
emigx'ation of the English speaking population from this place, neither 
so strong financially nor nvimerically as formerly, still it has a fair mem- 
bership and congregation, and possesses financial ability equal to all its 


necessities. As to the value of the Methodist Church property in Law- 
renceburgh, the substantial church building on the corner of High and 
Vine Streets is estimated at |12,000; and the parsonage on High Street 
— a very good and commodious house — is estimated at $2,000. Upon 
the whole perhaps no individual church in the State has enjoyed more 
continued peace and prosperity, and exerted a deeper and wider influence 
upon Christianity than the Methodist Episcopal Church of Lawrence- 

The Regular Baptist Church of Lawrencebwgh. — The con- 
stitution of this church is said to have taken place in 1807. In the 
absence of records only a brief sketch of it can be given. Dr. Ezra 
Ferris located in the village in 1804. He was a young married man of 
quite a liberal education for that time, and had been identified with the 
Old Duck Creek Baptist Church in Hamilton County, Ohio, where he had, 
as was generally termed, "exercised his gifts" in speaking. He was 
zealous in the sect of religion he espoused, and was instrumental in the 
organization into a church the several families in and about Lawrence- 
burgh of the same denomination, among whom were several of the 
Blasdells, who resided on Tanner's Creek, Timothy Davis, Charles 
Brasher, and the Ferrises at Lawrenceburgh, Henry Hardin and wife, Ja- 
cob Froman and wife, of Hardinsburgh, and a Mrs. Bonham, from near 
Elizabethtown. These may not all have been members at the time of the 
constitution of the church, but all were early and active members. 
Thomas Townsend and wife, and a Mr. Foster were also early members. 
Services were held at private residences at the various localities named 
until about 1830, when Lawrenceburgh became the settled place for 
holding services. That year the Presbyterian denomination completed 
their church, toward the building of which the Baptists contributed 
$300, and were to have the use of the building alternately or when the 
Presbyterians were not using it. Subsequently the appropriation was 
refunded, and the use of the church by the denomination under consid- 
eration was discontinued. In 1845 the little brick house of worship lo- 
cated on Center Street was erected. From the beginning up to the time 
of Dr. Ferris' death in ] 857, he was regarded as the senior pastor of 
the church and also frequently preached elsewhere in the county. Elder 
Mathews and William Steele from Kentucky were for a period assistant 
pastors to the Doctor. The venerable Dr. Bond occasionally officiated 
prior to 1840, and in the latter year was made assistant pastor, and for 
the succeeding decade occupied the pulpit for about one-half of the 
time. From 1850 to 1857 he was away from the city, and in 1857, on 
the death of Dr. Ferris, he became pastor of the church and served 
until the close of the war, since which time the following named minis- 


ters have occupied the pulpit: Dr. Bond (occasionally), Degarmore, 
Meeks, Clancy, Earl, Hamline, Swaim, Loving, and Tinker. The mem- 
bership of the church is now about seventy. 

The First Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceburgh was organized 
September 27, 1829, by Rev. Sylvester Scoville, with the following mem- 
bership: Duncan Carmichael, Catherine Carmichael, William Archibald, 
Betsey Archibald, Jacob Piatt, Mrs. Ann Runyan, Miss Margaret John- 
son, Mrs. Jane E. Sparks, Mrs. Sarah Darragh, Mrs. Catherine L. 
Pinckard, Mrs. Jane Clark Hageman, Mrs. Elizabeth Hamilton, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Rice, the first nine being received on letter from other 
churches, the remaining four on profession of their faith. The church 
was reported to the Presbytery of Oxford, Ohio, and received under their 
care October 2, 1829. The board of trustees was composed of Duncan 
Carmichael, William B. Ewing, William Archibald, George H. Dunn and 
Stephen Ludlow. In tlje early existence of the society, it had no church 
building. Sometimes the congregation met at the court house, some- 
times the doors of the old Methodist Chapel on Walnut Street were 
opened to them. Another preaching place for this denomination was in a 
building on the corner of Main and Short Streets. During the pastorate 
of Mr, Scoville a church building was erected on the southwest side of 
Short Street between William and Center, which was completed in 1830. 
The Baptist congregation furnished a portion of the money ($300), to- 
ward its building, for which they had certain rights and privileges — 
the venerable Dr. Ferris occupying the pulpit one-half of the time, or 
when the Presbyterians did not use it. Subsequently the appropriation, 
made by the Baptists was refunded and their use of the building was 
discontinued. September 26, 1838, the church resolved to be an inde- 
pendent Presbyterian Church and remained disconnected with any Pres- 
bytery until in 1841, when for a time it was in the Presbytery of Madi- 
son (New School). It was again connected with the Presbytery of 
Oxford, Ohio (Old School). Subsequently the Presbytery of White 
Water was formed, with which it was placed. In 1846 a parsonage was 
provided for the pastor. The following named ministers, and in the 
order given, have been pastors of the church: Sylvester Scoville, 1829 to 
February, 1832 (died in 1849); Alexander McFarlans, November, 1832, 
one year (died in 1838); Charles Sturdevent, October, 1834, one year 
and a half; Henry Ward Beech er. May, 1837, two and a quarter years; 
J. A. Tiffany, December 26, 1839, one year; W. A. Smith, January 1, 
1841, to May 24, 1848; W. H. Moore, July 1, 1849, one year; S. S. 
Potter, November, 1850, a number of years; Geoi*ge I. Taylor, Augustus 
Taylor, Joshua R. Mitchell, Charles H. Little, Samuel N. Wilson (up- 
ward of ten years) and Mr. Thomas, the present incumbent. On the 


site of the old church on Short Street stands a beautiful brick edifice, 
which is ornamental and beautiful in style of architecture, and elegantly 
furnished within, erected in 1882 and dedicated September 24, 1883, 
with a sermon by Rev. Dr. Heckman, the Rev. Charles Little ofiSciating 
in the evening. The building was erected at a cost of $10,768. 

The following article appeared in the New York World of May 22, 
1882 : 

"Mr. Beecher baptized nineteen babies yesterday morning, the little 
Christians behaving, with few exceptions, most admirably. In asking 
for a collection for the Presbyterian Church at Lawrenceburgh, Ind., he 
said that it was the church over which he was first settled as pastor. 
'When I was twenty-three years old,' said Mr. Beecher, 'I went forth 
knowing but very little, and having no grace of that knowledge except 
that I knew I knew very little. My first stop was across the Ohio River, 
opposite Cincinnati, where a hall had been opened with a view of forming 
a New School Presbyterian Church, for I was then a Presbyterian, and 
am still in everything except their Confession of Faith. I began to 
preach there, however, and after preaching about a half-dozen Sundays 
I was visited by a young woman about twenty-one or twenty-two years 
old, named Martha Sawyer (that's not her name now, so you won't know 
who it is), and I was invited to take charge of another church at Law- 
renceburgh, Ind. She was, I believe, trusteee, deacon and treasurer of 
the church; at any rate they had no other. She collected all the money 
that was collected and they paid me about $150 a year and the American 
Missionary Society made up the rest, [so that I had the munificent salary 
of $450 a year. There I began my ministerial and pastoral life. There 
was but one man in the church, and that was one too many. However, 
here I began to learn. I don't know how, but here I learned for two 
years and a little more, and then I was called to Indianapolis, where I 
was for the two years preceding the time of my coming here. That lit- 
tle brick church which would seat 100 or 150 persons was where I 
preached my earliest sermons. When we had a communion I had to 
go out and borrow a deacon and elder. That church remains. A photo- 
graph has been taken of it and has been sent to me. I recognize every 
brick in it. I was sexton of it as well as pastor. I swept it twice a 
week; got lamps from the adjoining town and hung them upon the walls, 
and bought oil and filled and trimmed them, and kept them trimmed; for 
previous to that there had been no evening service. The church has 
existed ever since, with various degrees of prosperity, but now they have 
undertaken to baild for themselves a new church and I come to ask you 
what you are going to do to help them.' The baskets were passed and 
returned well filled." 


The St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church of Laivrenceburgh. — 
The first Roman Catholic congregation, of Lawrenceburgh, was 
oro-anized in the year 18-40^ consisting of about fifteen families, among 
which the following names take precedence, viz. : George Huschart, Peter 
Werst, John Kimmel, Jacob Meier, Lewis Crusart, Anthony Schwartz 
and Michael Long. At this time divine services were held in a 
house in Newtown, belonging to Jesse Hunt, and occupied by a Catholic 
family; about a year later in the house of George Huschart, and at times, 
also, in the bouse of Michael Lang. The corner-stone of the first Catho- 
lic Church was laid^on Walnut Street in 184:L The church was built of 
rock, 40x60 feet in length, but was not completed until 1847, when it 
was dedicated. During these years Lawrenceburgh was attended by 
priests from the neighboring congregations, the first of whom was Eev. 
Joseph Ferneding, who attended but a short time; it was next visited by 
Rev. F. O'Eourke, and after him by Rev. A. Bennett till 1851, also by 
Rev. M. Stahl and Rev. A. Carius. In 1851 the Rt. Rev. Bishop M. De 
St. Palais, D. D., of Vincennes, gave it in charge of the Franciscan 
Fathers of the St. John's Church, Cincinnati. Rev. G. Unterthiner, 
Sigismund and Anselm Koch, O. S. F., who attended till the year 1859, 
when it was transferred to the charge of Rev. Ig. Klein, resident pastor 
of St. Nicholas (Pipe Creek), who regularly attended till the year 1866, 
when by the appointment of the Right Reverend Bishop, Rev. Clement 
Sheve became the first resident pastor of the place. Owing to the increase 
of Catholic population. Father Sheve saw that a more spacious edifice was 
required, and the present beautiful church of St. Lawrence, 50x115 feet, 
erected on Walnut Street, near the place of the old church, is the result 
of his ministry, and the fruit of his zeal and labors; he also built a fine 
residency for the pastor, and a large schoolhouse. Compelled by loss 
of health, he resigned in 1870 and left for Minnesota, where he died in 
the spring of 1875. Rev. C. Sheve was succeeded by Rev. J. J. Dudden- 
hausen, who remained until May 15, 1875, when he was transferred to 
Trinity Church, Evansville, Ind., and with sincere feelings of regret his 
parishioners saw him depart for his new scene of labor. He was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. J. F. Souderman, the present incumbent. In connection 
with the church are also several church societies. The membership of 
the ladies' society is 205, and that of St. Lawrence Roman Catholic 
Benevolent Society, 125. The parochial school is in charge of the 
sisters of St. Francis; the number of children in attendance is about 200, 
and the number of teachers, five. 

The German Evangelical Zion Church of Laivrenceburgh was first 
constituted October 3, 1847, under the name of German Evangelical Re- 
formed Church of Lawrenceburgh, belonging to the Evangelical Re- 


formed Synod of the United States. The constitution was signed by five 
trustees, to-wit: Johann David Hauck, George Ross, Johann Reimer, 
Lorenz Winter and Johann Siemantel. The small congregation held its 
meetings at first in the Presbyterian Church, on Short Street, in 1848. 
The members built a brick church on Walnut Street, 54x28. The upper 
part of it was consecrated for divine service, and the basement was used 
as a day school and parsonage. In 1862 a new constitution was voted. 
In 1867 the congregation dissolved its connection with the Evangelical 
Reformed Synod, and changed the name to German Evangelical Zion 
Congregation of Lawrenceburgh, In 1867 a new and larger brick build- 
ing, 75x42 feet, was erected. A steeple was raised 100 feet high, and a 
bell hung in it. While the foundation was being laid, a number of the 
members left the congregation, and established the Evangelical Lutheran 
Church at Newtown. November 24, 1867, the building was ready to be 
consecrated, and was named Evangelical Zion Church. In the same 
year a parsonage was built by the side of the new and in front of the 
old church, which was fitted up for a school-room and for weekly meet- 
ings. All these buildings, costing about $14,000, are still used for the 
same purpose. The congregation consists at present of 72 families. 
Ever since the formation, the congregation generally had its own German 
day school, which now numbers 110 scholars. The Sunday-school was 
established in 1851, by Rev. Friedel and Mr. Johann David Hauck, and 
numbers at present 160 scholars and 20 teachers. Associations in con- 
nection with the church are: An association of the ladies, established 
in 1858 with 63 members, numbers at present 81; the singing choir, 
established in 1867 with 19 members, now numbers 45; an association 
of men for church building, in 1867, with 21 members, now numbers 
39; an association of young ladies, established in 1867 with 21 members, 
numbers at present 27; an association of young men, established in 1871 
with 11 members, now numbers 14; a sick aid society, established in 
1862, which at present numbers only 14 members. The names of the 
pastors of the congregation since 1847 are Revs. P. B. Madonlet, 1847-50; 
A. H. Friedel, 1850-51; H. Straeter, 1851-52; A. Carrol, 1852-53; Casp. 
Pluess, 1854-59; H. Lienstaedt, 1859-62; C. Betz, 1862-71; C. F. 
Warth, 1871 to the present time. 

The Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Chtwch of Neiv Laivrenceburgh. 
— Until 1867 this religious body formed a part of the society now 
known as the German Evangelical Zion Church of the city whose history 
is given above. At this time a number of the members withdrew and 
established the congregation under consideration. The corner-stone of 
the Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Church was laid in the year 1867, 
and finished in 1869. The church is a brick building, 40x80 feet, has a 


stone basement, and a tower 120 feet high, and cost upward of $16,000, 
of which sum an outside debt remains. The building is located on the 
corner of Main and Fourth Streets. The church has a membership of 
34 families, a Sunday school with 70 children, a singing choir, with 24 
members, a day school with 34 children at present. Its pastor, Thomas 
H. Jaeger, who has served the congregation since October, 1875, is a 
member of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Ohio and other States. 

The German Methodist Episcopal Church of Laiorenceburgh had its 
origin in this wise: April 11, 1839, Rev. Adam Miller, pastor of Race 
Street Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, preached to a congregation in Law- 
renceburgh, for the first time, and, on the following months' services were 
held every two weeks, by Rev. Dr. W. Nast, who, June 16 of that year, 
ordained a class of 10 members, which was increased to 20 members 
in the following two weeks. Of this class J. M. Hofer was appoint- 
ed leader. Shortly after this a Sabbath-school of from 20 to 30 
members was organized with 8 teachers. Services were held for a 
time, until a church building was erected, in private houses, frequently 
in the dwelling of J. M. Mul finger. In 1842 the first house of worship 
was built, located on Market Street. In 1860 the present church edifice, 
a substantial and commodious brick, located on Center Street near Wal- 
nut, was erected, which is valued at $8,000. At first this charge was 
connected with a circuit over which presided Rev. Juhn Kisling, preach- 
er in charge. The first quarterly conference was held in 1843, by Rev. 
C. W. Ruter, presiding elder. In 1845 the Lawrenceburgh charge be- 
came a station, having then a membership of 40. The following 
named ministers have been pastors of the church: John Kisling, G.\A. 
Brennig, John Zwahlen, C. Wyttenbach, John Phetzing, John Geyer, 
L. Heiss, John Bier, Jacob Rothweiler, Adolph Kartter, F. Schroeck, 
C. Dierking, John Kisling, J. H. Koch, C. Schelper, F. Miller, L. C. 
Lurker, A. Gerlach, C. Helwig, J. C. Wurster, J. Scheveinfurth, C. 
Bertram, D. Volz, John Phetzing. 

The Christian Church of Lawrenceburgh. — In the spring of 1876 the 
Christian Church of Lawrenceburgh was organized by Rev. A. Elmore, 
the outgrowth of an extensive revival at which upward of 100 were 
taken into membership. The first officers of the church were J. R.Trisler, 
James D. Willis, elders; Spencer West, Christopher Dailey, George 
Morris and Boone Rice, deacons. A call was extended to Mr. Elmore 
to become the pastor of the church, which was accepted. 

On the corner of Elm and Center Streets is located a beautiful and 
substantial brick church edifice, the property of this society, which was 
completed and dedicated August 7, 1884, the sermon being preached by 
elder F. D. Power of Washington, D. C. 



Trinity (Protestant) Episcopal Church of Laivrenceburgh. — 
Services of the church were first held in Lawrenceburgh on the feast of 
Epiphany, January 6, 1840, when the Trinity parish was duly organ- 
ized with but three commuaicants and but few others who knew any- 
thing about the church. The first rector of the parish was the Rev. T. 
C. Pitkin, who served one year and was succeeded by Rev. Charles 
Prindle, who died at the close of the first year of his rectorship. About 
this time the most active layman of the little band died, and two others 
removed from the city, which caused a suspension of services until in 
the fall of 1844, when services were resumed under the rectorship of Rev. 
A. C. Treadway. Services were continued at different intervals until 
June, 1856, when the last service by a clergyman of the church, of 
which we have any account, was held. The present modest little brick 
church^edifice on Walnut Street was erected and consecrated to the serv- 
ice 'of God in 1854. Of the rectors serving the parish from the 
time'Rev. Mr. Treadway severed his connection with it until 1856, the 
records do not definitely treat, but among those officiating at baptisms 
were Revs. T. B. Fairchild, John Trimble and E. C. Pattison. In 1874 
services were again resumed by Rev. William H. Troop, who was sent a 
missionary to the cities of Lawrenceburgh and Aurora. The meetings of 
the parish at Lawrenceburgh were for a time held in the court house, the 
church building having been occupied as a place of business. The 
church was restored, and the first service held in it was on the sixteenth 
Sunday after Trinity — September 20, 1874 — since which time services 
have been continued and conducted by the following named rectors, who 
have had charge of the two parishes: Revs. William H. Troop, 1874-75; 
Thomas W. McLean, 1875 to 1878; Curtis P. Jones, Thomas K. Cole- 
man, Benjamin T. Hall, David B. Ramsey, the latter (present rector) 
taking charge July 15, 1884. 

The first schoolhouse of the village was erected on the public or 
court house square very early in its history. It was a log-building and 
the first teachers in it were the Rev. Samuel Baldridge (a Presbyterian 
minister, who was residing at Lawrenceburgh, and who from 1810 to 
1814 worked as an itinerant missionary in the Whitewater Valley), and a 
Mr. Fulton. In 1808, Mrs. Mary Lane, the wife of Hon. Amos Lane, a 
woman of high culture and refinement, kept a school in Kentucky nearly 
opposite Lawrenceburgh. In 1809 the Lane family moved to what was 
called Tousytown on the Kentucky side of the river, just opposite the 
city. At this point she opened a school, which increased to seventy 
scholars, being patronized by the people of the surrounding country. In 


1814 the Lane family settled in Lawrenceburgh, and Mrs Lane for a 
short time only taught in the log-building above mentioned. In 
1813, Zenas Hill is remembered as the school teacher of the village. 
The late Henry James, of Rising Sun, whose father settled at Lawrence- 
burgh in 1808, said: " We remained there about two years, ditring 
which time I attended school, which was taught by Dr. Ferris, an Irish- 
man. He was an excellent teacher, and was afterward engaged to teach 
in Rising Sun. Under his instruction my brothers and I studied Latin 
and Gi'eek. " School was kept for a time in an old frame building that 
stood on High Street, between Mary and Vine, nearly opposite the 
Stevenson House; also in another house on the same side of High Street 
just below AValnut. Samuel H. Dowden, a Virginian of intelligence. 
and a Mrs. Stevenson, who afterward became the wife of Thomas Tou- 
sey, are remembered as early teachers. The first schoolhouse erected in 
New Lawrenceburgh was built prior to 1820, and stood on the same lot 
on which the present one is located. After the completion of the old 
Presbyterian Church in 1830, that stood on Short Street, the basement 
story was a favorite place for holding school. In 1833, what was termed 
through the newspapers as the "Lawrenceburgh High School," was 
opened by Z. Casterline in this house of worship. 

In 1841, the school trustees advertised in the city papers that the free 
school of District No. Nine (including all that part of the township lying 
east of Gray's Alley) would be open May 10. The school under the charge 
of Mr. Bundy was to be kept in a room in Ferris' row on High Street, 
and that under the care of Mrs. C. Morehouse, in the basement story of 
the Presbyterian Church. The trustees then were J. H. Brown, William 
Brown and John P. Dunn. 

In 1851 there were two high schools in the city, namely: the 'Law- 
renceburgh Academy, established by J. M. Rail, assisted by Miss Parme- 
lia Fahr, and the Lawrenceburgh Institute, established under the super- 
vision of trustees, with Edward Cooper, A. M., principal. In addition to 
these there were in the city a select school held in the basement of the 
Presbyterian Church under the direction of Miss and Mrs. Potter ; a 
middle district school taught by Mrs. Wardell; the Newtown District, 
Elmerdorf and District No. Ten, Germantown, taught by John D. White; 
there were also two German schools on Walnut Street, one German 
Catholic taught by John F. Herwig, and the other both Catholic and 
Protestant, taught by Jacob Behmar. From 1840 to 1856 the following 
named were among those who taught in the basement of the Presbyterian 
Church: John M. Wilson, Dr. Potter, John D. White and J. M.Olcott. 

The following sketch of the Lawrenceburgh public schools appeared 
in one of the county papers in 1876: 


" The Lawreuceburgh graded schools were organized and established 
the 15th day of November, 1856, by Omer Tousey, John Anderegg and 
Samuel Morrison, board of school trustees, and Norval Sparks, clerk; 
J. M. Olcott. superintendent; D. H. Pennewell, assistant superintendent; 
Mrs. Hubbel, Mrs. Brasher, Miss Yeatman and Miss Brower, teachers. 
Number of children attending public schools in the city, 250; number of 
children between the ages of five and twenty-one years in the township, 
1,294. The high school building was erected in the year 1859, by the 
township trustee, Mr. William Tate, and completed by his successor in 
office, Mr. John Ferris. In the year 1865, by and in pursuance of an 
act of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, the control and 
management of the city schools was transferred from the township trus- 
tee to a school board of trustees consisting of three persons, president, 
secretary and treasurer, to be elected by the council of the city of 
Lawrenceburgh. The following named persons have been elected and 
acted in that capacity: Levin B. Lewis, John H. Gaff, Andrew A. Heifer, 
Andrew J. Pusey, William M. James, Noah S. Givan and John K. 
Thompson. The present board is George Otto, president; Dr. Charles 
B. Miller, treasurer; Thomas Kilner, secretary. At no time in the 
history of the schools have they been in as good condition financially as 
at the present time. At the expiration of the present school year, there 
will remain, and unexpended, the sum of $4,979.84. It is the desire of 
the present board of trustees, with the consent and approval of the 
patrons of the schools, to make some radical changes therein, whereby 
they may become more efficient and beneficial. There is annually 
expended by the board for school purposes, $10,000. The school prop- 
erty consists of two large brick buildings; one situated on the corner of 
Short and Market Streets, surrounded by a beautiful park with fine play 
ground for the children, and the other on the corner of Shipping and 
Fourth Streets, a building erected in 1870 — the grounds have been 
ornamented during the present year by shade trees. The buildings are 
supplied with charts, globes, chemical and philosophical apparatus, 
skeleton, etc., to which additions are being constantly made, and every 
facility afforded to make the school efficient and the equal of any in the 
State. The real estate and buildings are valued at $30,000; value of 
scientific apparatus, $550; value of library, $100. Corps of instructors 
at the present time: John R. Trisler, superintendent; William F. Gil- 
christ, principal; Miss Josie M. Brand, Miss Sallie B. Marsh, Miss 
Emma C. Hauck, Miss Emma L. Pusey, Miss Mary Hopping, Miss 
Carrie H. Rowe, Miss Fannie Pierce, Miss Katie Ferris, Miss Annie S. 
Hayes, Miss Esther L. Avery, teachers; Mr. A. S. Teutschel and F. J. 
Kalmerten, German teachers; Prof. Emil A. Roehrig, vocal music: 


Joseph White, janitor; Margaret Brown, janitresg. The average monthly 
salary of teachers, exclusive of superintendent, is $50.60. Number of 
pupils enrolled in the school, 650; number of children enumerated in 
the city between six arid twenty-one years, 1,951." 

In 1883 the enumeration of children in the schools was 1,749. Now 
the Lawrenceburgh Public Schools embrace five departments, viz.: I, En- 
glish primary; II, English grammar; III, German primary; IV, German 
grammar; V, High School. 

The English primary department includes the first four years of 
school training. It takes pupils at the beginning, and leaves them fair 
spellers, readers and writers, and gives them a knowledge of the four 
fundamental principles of arithmetic. In this department lessons also 
are given in language, physiology, geography, music and drawing — thus 
making it the aim of this department to thoroughly prepare the pupil to 
advance to the grammar department, and at the same time to furnish him 
with that training that will be most useful in life, should his training 
end with this department. 

The English grammar department includes the next four years of the 
course, or from fifth year to the eighth inclusive. Its object is to receive 
pupils who have completed the foregoing department, or its equivalent, 
and to give them such drill as shall make them proficient in spelling, 
reading, penmanship, arithmetic, geography, grammar, physiology. 
United States history, vocal music, drawing and composition, and to best 
fit the pupil to enter the high school, or to discontinue school life, if 
compelled to do so. 

The German department, as created by the liberality of the school 
board, and provided with the proper teachers in the years from 1878- 
1881, proved to be a success. The floods of 1882, 1883 and 1884, and 
the subsequent diminution of population, as well as a certain indiffer- 
ence and shortsightedness of a number of parents, preferring rather to 
withdraw their children from the advanced classes of this department 
than to let them have the benefit of a better education, caused the dis- 
continuance, in 1884, of the seventh and eighth year, corresponding with 
the advanced classes of A and B, grammar grade. For the benefit of 
this department and its further progress, the restoration of these grades 
will be essentially necessary. Parents should, under no circumstances, 
allow children to quit school until at least the ninth school year is 
reached, and thus help to fill up this grade again with as many pupils 
as are necessary to justify the board in sustaining and paying another 
teacher. The departments comprise as complete a course in the German 
language and literatiire as is practicable, and at the same time the same 
instructions that are given in English, in the corresponding English de- 


partments, are given in these departments. The fact that the teachers 
in the German grades are native German, or are of immediate German 
descent, greatly facilitates the work. The entire German work is also 
placed under the supervision of a skillful teacher, trained in the best 
German schools. 

High School. — The general public recognize the High School as an 
indispensable part of the public school system, and hence not only cheer- 
fully support it, but demand its existence. Without the high school aa 
a goal for the brighter or more ambitious pupils of the lower departments, 
our school system would lose much of its valuable influence upon the 
community. The greatest good derived from the schools is their influ- 
ence upon the character of the pupil. The cultivation of will power, or 
that which determines character, begun in the lower grades, is carried on 
more effectively in the high school; for the pupil is more mature, and 
can be led to see the neccessity of the power of self control. That it is 
one of the duties of the State to provide the means for higher culture must 
be recognized by all who have any adequate knowledge of the State and 
its relation to the individual; the branches taught have already been 
enumerated, and are such, if completed, to qualify the pupil to enter the 
freshman class of the State University or Purdue University. And in 
view of this fact the State board of education has commissioned the Law- 
renceburgh High School to pass its graduates, without further examination, 
to the freshman class of either Purdue or the State University. 

School Board. — R. Walter, president. 

F. R. Dorman, secretary. 

Dr. C. M. Miller, treasurer. 

Instructors. — T. V. Dodd, superintendent, and teacher of the senior 

W. H. Rucker, principal of the high school — ninth and tenth years. 

Julia W. Rabb, special teacher of grammar in grammar department, 
and principal of eighth year. 

Emma Brogan, special teacher of reading in grammar department, 
and principal of seventh year. 

Mary E. Pusey, special teacher of geography in grammar department, 
and principal of sixth year. 

Nettie Van Ness, special teacher of arithmetic in grammar depart- 
ment, and principal of fifth year. 

, teacher in A primary grade, fourth year. 

Pauline Berkshire, teacher in B primary grade, third year. 

Retta Brodbeck, teacher in C primary grade, second year. 

Nettie Akers, teacher in D primary grade, first year. 

Carrie Goyer, teacher in C and D primary grades first and second 


Jennie Huff, assistant teacher in D primary grade. 

J. R. Kuhlman, superintendent of German; teacher in German gram- 
mar department. 

Alice Schleicher, teacher in German primary department, third and 
fourth years. 

Anna Sembach, teacher in German primary department, first and 
second years. 

Matilda Hoffrogge, teacher in German primary department, first and 
second years. 

E. A. Roehrig, teacher of music and penmanship. 

Wash Howard, Oldtown, and Mrs. Flush, Newtown, janitors. 


1872— Fannie Pierce, Mary E. Banyard, Emma C. Hauck, E. D. 
Freeman, Carrie H, (Rowe) McCormick. 

1876 — Mary (Jones) Ross, Mary Pusey, Lizzie (Savage) Brenkert, 
Edward T. Mader. 

1877— Tina Pusey,* Emma Blair, Robert Colt, Fred Ferger. 

1878 — Tillie Israel, Alice Schleicher, Lewis B. Danniel, H. Lee 
Early, Collins Fitch, Warren Hauck, George Schroeder. 

1879 — Mary Akers,* Olivia Broadwell, Emma Brogan, Julia Stock- 
man, Cora Bainbridge, Fred Everhart. 

1880 — Bessie Hunter, Edward S. Smashea, Rell M. Woodward, 

1881 — Tecumseh Meek, Joshua Terrill, George Terrill, Nettie Akers, 
May Stockman, Retta Brodbeck, Kora Thomas, Pauline^ Berkshire, Al- 
lie Snider, Nannie Terrill. 

1882— Ritta Dunlevy, Nettie A. Duck,* Belle Garner, Emma 
Schleicher, Lizzie Pusey, George L. Gatch, Mary Emmert. 

1883— Ada Fitch, Anna A. Sembach, Flora M. Walter, Carrie D. 
Schleicher, Lillie St. C. Rooke, Lillie M. Fichter. 

1884 — Lulu Smashea, Julia Akers, Mattie Freeman, Tillie Schwartz, 
Louisa Howard, Mary Murnan, J. F. Tilley. 

1885— Ella Squibb, Martin Givan, William Miller, Jennie Huff, 
Nettie Burk, Stella Fisher, Louisa Decker, Curtie Hodell, Albert Geisert. 


In the foregoing sketch of the earlier village and town, the business 
interests and lesser industries have been referred to in a general way, 


tThe census of 1880 showed that the sixteen productive establishments of industries of the city, 
with a capital of $1,350,000 invested, produced manufactured articles to the value of SI, 895,952 during 
the census year, for which 8290,967 was paid for wages. In this calculation only those tactories that 
produced articles over the value of 8500 were considered. 


and it is our purpose here to treat more specifically of the various 
manufacturing interests which have been the means of developing the 
slow and quiet village and town of three-quarters of a century ago into 
the bustling manufacturing center of the past decade, with its numerous 
distilleries, immense furniture factories, cigar factories, cooper shops, 
flouring-mills, saw and planing-mills, breweries, woolen-mill, stove 
foundry, coffin factory, with the cluster of minor mills and factories 
which have been dotted over its surface and given employment to thous- 
ands of men, women and children. 

Flouring Mills. — The first merchant flouring-mill in Lawrenceburgh 
was built in 1837, by Mr. E. D. John. The building is still in exist- 
ence, and is situated on the canal basin, and now used by Mr. R. Duck 
for a saw-mill. Mr. John erected the building for a pork house, but 
when completed concluded to convert it into a flouring-mill, with four 
pairs of buhrs, or stones, and all other requisite machinery for the man- 
ufacture of flour. When completed he sold one-half the mill, in 1838, 
to Dr. C. G. W. Comegys, now of Cincinnati, who soon afterward added 
four more pairs of buhrs and a corresponding amount of other machinery, 
so that they then had a capacity for the daily manufacture of 300 bar- 
rels of flour. These mills were called the Miami Mills, and in a few 
years this brand of flour became noted for its excellence, not only in 
the United States, but in the West India Islands and South American 
ports. It was said of it that it would remain sweet for months in trop- 
ical climates while other brands would sour. In 1840 Dr. Comegys pur- 
chased Mr. John's interest in the mills, and subsequently added a dis- 
tillery, placing it in the same building with the flouring business. The 
Doctor connected both the flouring and whisky business for a season or 
two, when he sold out to Messrs. Bar & Febiger, two gentlemen from 
W^ilmington, Del., who prosecuted the business until 1848. In 1847 
Milton Gregg erected a large building a few feet south of the above- 
named mills, in one end of which he placed machinery for crushing flax 
seed; in other words, an oil-mill. In the other part of the building he 
placed a flouring-mill and machinery, with three run of stones, with a ca- 
pacity for manufacturing 100 barrels of flour daily. This flouring-mill 
and machinery he leased to Lewis & Eichelberger for ten years, at a 
rental of $1,000 per year, but before the termination of one year he sold 
the mill to Lewis & Eichelberger, and in a few months after the sale 
both oil-mill and flour-mill were consumed by fire. This occurred in 
the spring of 1848. Lewis & Eichelberger did not rebuild, but at once 
purchased the Miami Mills and distillery. The latter they sold to the 
Messrs. Gaflf, who removed the machinery to Aurora. Lewis & Eichel- 
berger continued to operate the Miami Mills till 1852, when the floods 


of that year swept off the great dam at Harrison, and otherwise dam- 
aged the canal so that it was confidently asserted and believed it would 
never be repaired. Lewis & Eichelberger, despairing of ever obtaining 
water to propel their machinery, set to work to build the large steam 
mill on High Street, which they completed in 1853, at a cost exceeding 
$25,000. The architects, or millwrights, were resident citizens — Messrs. 
A. J. Pusey and William Probasco. In the meantime, the canal company 
had made a loan of money and repaired the canal, so that now Lewis & 
Eichelberger had a steam-mill with a capacity of 350 barrels, and water- 
mills of 300 barrels per day. They continued to operate the water-mills 
until the canal was utterly destroyed and abandoned, and continued to 
operate the steam-mill, which they afterward called the Miami Mills, up 
to the winter of 1870, when they were sold to Messrs. Roots & Co., of 
Cincinnati. The firm of Lewis & Eichelberger was formed in the spring 
of 1847, and dissolved in the month of December, 1870, nearly twenty- 
three years, in which time, it is estimated, over 2,000,000 barrels of flour 
were manufactured by them, and the money paid out by the firm for 
grain, cooperage and labor exceeds $8,000,000. The mill, under the pres- 
ent management of Messrs. Roots & Co., has been enlarged and furnished 
with latest improved machinery for manufacturing purposes. It is a 
model mill in every respect, with a capacity of annually manufacturing 
90,000 barrels. The firm manufacture the finest grade of flour, that has 
an established reputation throughout the various States. 

The large frame grist-mill known as the Walnut Street Mills, located 
at the end of that street going to Newtown, was built in 1882, by Snyder 
Brothers & Co., but now operated by John Snyder & Sons. The mill is 
the property of George Beckenholdt. It has a capacity of 225 bushels 
per day (twelve hours). It is equipped with improved machinery and is 
valued at $10,000. 

The Manufacture of Distilled Liquors. — For half a century the city, 
in this branch of industry, has been famous, not only the city but the 
county. This city is the headquarters of the district, the office having 
been again located here in June, 1885, the collector being W. D. H. Hun- 
ter. The district in 1880 comprised the counties of Dearborn, Decatur, 
Franklin, Jefferson, Ohio, Jennings, Ripley and Switzerland. The total 
amount of revenue collected in the district for the fiscal year ending 
April 30, 1880, was $3,283,991.01 of which $3,259,771.87 was collected 
at the offices in Dearborn County, more than twenty-four twenty-fifths of 
the entire revenue collected in the district. There are located in the 
county seven distilleries, namely: four at Lawrenceburgh, two at Harri- 
son, and one at Aurora. It is stated that the firm of T. & J. W\ Gaff & 
Co., of Aurora, during fifteen days in February, 1875, paid as revenue 


tax the sura of $120,000. From the 13th to the 20th of that month their 
orders for whisky amounted to 2,820 barrels at an average price of $50 
per barrel, or $141,000 for the entire amount ordered. A gentleman who 
for years was connected with the internal revenue office at this point, in 
speaking of the distilleries of the city, remarked that "it is impossible to 
give the varying capacity of the distilleries during all their histories, but 
it may be safely said they have made enough whisky to float a navy or 
flood a city. Since the tax went on they have paid over $30,000,000 to 
the government." Two principal causes make this a good distilling 
point. The transportation facilities are good, and the water is clear, in- 
exhaustable and cold, a very important matter in the business. 

The first distillery for the manufacture of distilled liquors was estab- 
lished by Dann & Ludlow, in the year 1809, and was located near the 
present site of the Squibb & Co.'s distillery. The motive power was fur- 
nished by an unfortunate blind horse, and if there was no unavoidable 
delay, they succeeded in manufacturing two barrels per week, without 
the aid of lynx-eyed revenue officials, and when it was finished it was 
straight, nothing crooked there; whisky rings with their corruptions and 
perjuries were unknown to the honest pioneer. The next one was 
established in 1821 by Harris Fitch & Co., on Wilson Creek, on the land 
of Page Cheek, and for a number of years there was not a great deal 
done in this branch of manufacturing, that of later years has grown so 
extensive, and given to our city and county a world wide reputation for the 
quantity and quality manufactured. In the year 1836, Mr. Amaziah P. Hobbs 
erected the first distillery run by steam-power, with a capacity of mashing 
600 bushels per day. In the year 1839, it was destroyed by fire, and 
rebuilt by Hobbs & Craft, and was again destroyed by fire in the year 
1850, and was never rebuilt. Its location was just below the present 
Glenwood malthouse, the frame part of which was a part of their malt- 
house. In 1847, Peter Robbins erected what was known as the "Little 
Dinkey," with a capacity of 150 bushels per day. Mr. Robbins sold to 
Andy Morgan, who during the war was joined by E. G. Hayes and they 
operated it until about 1864. In 1847 or 1848, George Ross, Antony 
Swartz and Gid Benner built the Rossville distillery, subsequently owned 
by John B. Garnier and E. B. Dobell, with a capacity of 600 bashels per 
day. Since that date there have been several erected which will appear 
in their regular order; and there is no interest that has done more to 
build up the trade of the city and county than this one. 

The John H. Gaff & Co. Distillery.— lu the year 1851 Jabez L. 
Owenby, J. Anson Marshall and Jacob B. Shepperd, erected the buildings 
subsequently owned by John H. Gaff & Co. , for the purpose of the man- 
ufacture of high wines, alchohol and Bourbon whiskies. One year later 


this firm changed to Bradley, Marshall & Blasdel, who ran it two years 
and sold to James Gaflf, Marshall still retaining an interest. Gaff & 
Marshall added thereto the manufacture of flour, and the business was 
continued under that firm name until the year 1863, when Mr. Marshall 
retired, and the firm was changed to Gaff & Co. la the year 1869, 
another change occurred, and the firm was John H. Gaff & Co., who 
operated it until 1879, when it was sold to N. J. Walsh. 

The building for manufacturing purposes was located in New Law- 
renceburgh, fronting on Shipping Street, and extending back to Tanner's 
Creek. It was built of frame, with a capacity of mashing 900 bushels 
of grain per day, producing 3,500 gallons of proof spirits. There is a 
brick fire-proof bonded warehouse, 100x40 feet, two stories high; also a 
malt-house 70x50 feet, with a capacity of malting sixty bushels of grain 
per day. They had cattle pens with a capacity of stalling 1,200 head of 
cattle, and hog pens for 3,000 head. This firm gave employment to 
over thirty persons, and paid out annually for labor over $16,000, and 
when the distillery was run at its full capacity, the General Government 
would realize a revenue tax upon the goods manufactured, of nearly 
$1,000,000. This firm manufactured cologne and French spirits, alco- 
hol, high wines and Bourbon whiskies. The principal points of trade 
for the sale of goods manufactured were Cincinnati, New York, Balti- 
more, Boston, San Francisco and Marseilles, France. 

The distillery burned on the night of August 27, 1885 — the property 
of N. J. Walsh. It had been idle for several years. 

William P. Squibb & Co., Registered Distillery, No. 8. — In the year 
1868, Mr. Kosmos Frederick purchased grounds and proceeded to erect 
buildings for the purpose of distilling Bourbon whiskies and high wines» 
The same are situated in what is known as the town of Greendale, front- 
ing on the Indianapolis, Cincinnati & Lafayette Railroad, and extend- 
ing back to Tanner's Creek. Before the completion of the building he 
formed a partnership with Messrs. William P. and George W. Squibb, 
and in January 1869, they commenced operations. September 1,- 
1871, Mr. Frederick sold out his interest to the Squibb Brothers, who 
proceeded to enlarge the buildings and the capacity for manufacturing 
purposes. The buildings are built of brick, 20x200 feet in length, with 
an L extending back forty feet, three stories in height, with a capacity 
of mashing 330 bushels of grain per day, producing 1,260 proof gallons 
of spirits. There is a brick warehouse, fire-proof, 40x100 feet, and 
they have recently erected a brick building for the purpose of continuous 
distillation, to be used in the manufacture of alcohol, cologne spirits and 
Bourbon whiskies, with cattle and hog pens sufficient for all the stock. 
The value of the buildings and real estate is $30,000. This firm gives 


employment to fifteen persons and pays out annually for labor over 
$6,000, and for articles to be used in the process of manufacturing 
$71,000, and pays annually to the General Government for revenue tax 
over $300,000. The value of the manufactured goods, exclusive of tax, is 
over $75,000, and the value of the stock fattened on the slop, $40,000. 
The principal points for the sale of the goods of this firm are Cincinnati, 
Louisville and St. Louis. The members of the firm are active business 
men, and are known in business circles for their promptness and relia- 

N. J. Walshes Registered Distillery, No. 7. — The old Rossville dis 
tillery was built in 1847 by George Ross, Gid Renner and Antony 
Swartz, and they ran it till Ross' death. Rittenhouse & Shroyer after- 
wai-d operated it, and E. G. Hayes and William Probasco were operating 
it during the war, when the tax was put on and made them rich. About 
1868 E. B. Bradford ran it for about a year or so, and afterward Smith 
Fowler ran it in the name of J. S. Smith, and Alf Phillips succeeded 
them. In 1877 N. J. Walsh bought it and retains it, though it has been 
entirely rebuilt and is perhaps the finest distillery property in the 
country — the great warehouses and all the buildings being of the beet 
brick, and the machinery the latest and best improved. It has a capacity 
of mashing 2,100 bushels of grain per day. The feeding pens for 
cattle will accommodate 1,500 head, and the warerooms have a capacity 
of storing 25,000 barrels of liquor. 

The Nicholas Oester Registered Distilling, No. 9. — In the year 1875, 
Mr. Kosmus Frederick, purchased grounds and erected buildings for 
the purpose of manufacturing high wines and Bourbon whiskies. After 
a year or two,^he sold out to the present proprietor. The buildings front 
on Ridge Avenue, Greendale, 103x53 feet, four stories high, built of frame, 
with a brick warehouse 20x20 feet, and three stories high; a fermenting 
house 25x72 feet, and cattle and hog pens sufficient for all stock. The 
capacity of the building is for mashing 400 bushels of grain per day, pro- 
ducing 1,600 proof gallons of spirits. The value of the building and real 
estate is $30,000. When run to its full capacity, it will give employment 
to twelve persons, and require an annual expenditure for labor of over $7,- 
000, and for materials to be used in the process of manufacture of over 
$80,000, and will pay a revenue tax to the General Government of $400,- 
000. The value of the manufactured goods, exclusive of the tax, is over 
$100,000, and the value of stock fattened on slop $50,000. 

The Frederick Rodenhurg & Co. Registered Distillery, No. 12 is located 
on Tanner's Creek near the bridge, the main building being a large frame 
three stories high. The business was established in 1880, by Fred 
Rodenburg, at a cost of about $15,000. Other members of the firm are 


Christ Rodenburg and Charles Aring. Eight men are employed, and 
the distillery has a capacity of mashing 310 bushels of grain per day. 
High wines and Boarbon whisky are distilled here. 

The Brewery Business. — The first brewery for the manufacture of 
beer was established by George Ross, in the year 1845, in the building 
known as the Old Cotton Mill, on the ground where the Wheel Company 
is at the present time, with a capacity of manufacturing twenty barrels 
per day. In the year 1850, Kosmos Frederick built the brewery now 
owned by J. J. Hauck, which remains unemployed. In the year 1855, 
Mr. John B. Gamier erected a small brewery fronting on Shipping Street, 
with a capacity for manufacturing ten barrels per day, which he con- 
tinued to operate for nearly two years, when the business had increased to 
such an extent, that he was compelled to have larger capacity, and he 
purchased the brewery erected by Cosmos Frederick, and continued 
there until 1866, then sold to Hauck & Gebhard. He at once commenced 
to erect the large building on the corner of Third and Shipping Streets. 
The building for manufacturing purposes is 100x100 feet, two and a half 
stories high, with three lager beer cellars, 100x17 feet, and sixteen feet 
high, with malting rooms, with a capacity for malting 150 bushels of 
grain per day. The capacity of the brewery is fifty barrels per day. The 
brewery gives employment to twelve or fifteen persons, and pays out 
annually for labor $10,000, and for materials to be used in the process of 
manufacturing, the sum of $70,000, and if run at its full capacity, the 
General Government would realize a revenue tax of over $15,000. The 
trade is confined to the State of Indiana. The value of real estate and 
surrounding property is $50,000. Mr. John B. Garnier is a native of 
France. When he arrived in this country he was without any means, and 
commenced without any capital, but by his industry and economy, has 
become one of our wealthiest citizens. 

The Edwin B. Dobell Furniture Factory. — In the year 1863, Mr. E. 
B. Dobell, who had been extensively engaged in the manufacture of fur- 
niture in the city of Cincinnati, and his factory having been destroyed 
by fire, purchased from Elzy G. Burkam and Joseph H. Burkam, the 
furniture factory located in Greendale, which was built by Brown & 
Tate, the original pioneers of the manufacturing of furniture for the 
wholesale trade in our city. He paid for said property the sum of 
$22,000, and proceeded to the manufacture of a general line of furni- 
ture, making a specialty of bureaus, washstands, extension tables and 
bedroom suites. By strict attention to business, he soon succeeded in 
building up an extensive trade throughout the various States. 

During the month of May, 1873, his extensive manufactory was 
destroyed by fire, whereby he'sustained a loss of $45,000. With his 


usual energy he at once proceeded to repair the damage, and in less than 
three months the buildings were erected, stocked with machinery and in 
working order. The building is 60x100 feet, four stories high, built of 
brick, with an iron roof. Surrounded by his extensive lumber yards, the 
factory building, residence and real estate are valued at $30,000. He 
employs from seventy to seventy-five persons in the various departments, 
and expends annually for labor over $35,000, and for material to be used 
in the manufacture the sum of 125,000; the value of the goods manu- 
factured is over $100,000. There is constantly on hand a large stock of 
manufactured goods, and in his yard a stock -of seasoned lumber, from 
500,000 to 750,000 feet. The principal points of the trade of this firm 
ai*e in the South and West, extending as far south as Florida, and west 
as California, and embracing all the territories. The entire management 
of the business in all its departments is under the supervision and con- 
trol of Mr. E. B. Dobell, who is known as one of our most enterprising 
and upright business men. 

The Lawrencehurgh Furniture Manufacturing Company was organ- 
ized February 13, 1868, by Christ Lommel, Charles Schnell, Conrad 
Sander, John C. Brand, Fred Klienhans, George Fi-eyn, Adam Kastner 
and Fred. Rodenberg, with a capital stock of $7,000. At the annual 
meeting of stockholders, February 13, 1869, was increased to $13,000; 
March 5, 1870, to $15,000; April 1, 1871, to $22,700; February 21, 
1872, to $33,100; December 31, 1872, to $43,300; January 13, 
1874, to $58,150; in January, 1875, to $59,400; and in January, 1876, 
it was increased lo $63,250, which is the capital stock at this date. 
The establishment was incorporated under the laws of the State, with C. 
Sander, as president; C. Lommel, secretary and treasurer, and F. Klein- 
hans, as foreman of the factory. The management has not materially 
changed. The building for manufacturing purposes, corner Main and 
Second Streets, New Lawrencehurgh, is built partly of brick and frame; 
is 40x100 feet, two stories high, with a basement, supplied with the 
most improved machinery, and run by steam-power. 

The warerooms "are situated on the corner of Short and Centre Streets, 
Lawrencehurgh, are built of brick, 41x118, three stories high and a 
basement. The buildings, real estate and machinery ai-e valued at 
$28,000. The firm gives employment to from seventy fo eighty persons, 
and pays out annually for labor $40,000, and expends for materials 
$45,000, and the value of the manufactured goods are over $100,000, 
and carry a stock of seasoned lumber from 800,000 to 900,000 feet, and 
have constantly on hand a large stock of manufactured goods. The 
specialty of the firm are bureaus, washstands, bedsteads, dressing-case 
suites, and bedroom suites. The principal points of trade are in the West- 



ern and Southern States, with some sales in the Eastern States. The 
business of the firm is constantly on the increase, and their goods manu- 
factured have a reputation the equal of any in the West, and the busi- 
ness characters of the members of the firm are well established for prompt 
and correct dealing. 

The Miami Valley Furniture Manufacturing Company. — On the 24th 
day of March, 1868, George Hodel, Jr., John Christena, Henry F. 
Wencke, Adam Schleicher, George Schleicher, Gustave Schoenberger, Her- 
man H. Woehle, John F. Sembach, Philip Dexheimer, George Hodel, Sr., 
Johann J. Haack, Samuel Dickenson, John Bookster, Levin B. Lewis 
and Alexander Beckman, formed themselves into an association to be gov- 
erned in pursuance of the provisions of an act of the General Assembly 
of the State of Indiana, approved May 20, 1852, and the acts amendatory 
thereof; the association to be known by the title of the Miami Valley 
Furniture Manufacturing Company; the capital stock $20,000. The 
existence of the company was to be for fifty years ; the object of the com- 
pany was the manufacturing of a general line of furniture. 

The officers of the company were as follows: George Hodel, Jr., pres- 
ident; Harris Bateman, secretary; Levin B. Lewis, treasurer. Directors: 
George Hodel, Jr., John Christena, Henry F. Wenke, Adam Schlicher, 
Levin B. Lewis, Johann J. Hauck and Gustave Shoenberger. The com- 
pany proceeded at once to erect their buildings on their grounds, situated 
on High Street, between Charlotte and Maple Streets. The building for 
manufacturing purposes is 70x80 feet, four stories high, stocked with all 
the latest improved machinery and run by steam power. The warehouse 
is 34x150 feet and four stories high. At the annual meeting of the stock- 
holders, January 4, 1870. on account of the increase of the business, it 
was ordered that the capital stock be increased to $40,000; at the annual 
meeting on the 3d day of January, 1871, it was increased to $60,000; at 
the annual meeting, January 8, 1872, it was increased to $75,000; at the 
an Dual meeting, January 6, 1873, it was increased to $82 500; at the 
annual meeting, January 6, 1874, it was increased to $100,000, which is 
the capital at the present time. The company gives employment to about 
sixty-five persons, and pays out annually, for labor, the sum of $42,000. The 
real estate is valued at $25,000, and carries a stock of lumber from 750,- 
000 to 1,000,000 feet; and annually pays out for material for manufac- 
turing pui'poses over $40,000. The annual sales of manufactured articles 
is over $100,000. The increase and extent of the business has exceeded 
the most sanguine expectations of the incorporators, owing to the admir- 
able management of its officers. During its existence it has paid to the 
stockholders over 150 per cent of dividends. 

The quality of the furniture manufactured by this firm defies competi- 


tion; its trade extends over the Eastern, Western and Southern States, and 
large quantities are shipped direct to the Canadas. And owing to the 
safe and prudent management of its financial department by its young 
and enterprising president, Mr. George Hodel, Jr., who has annually 
been elected to that position from its organization, the company has 
never been compelled to ask an extension of time, but at all times was 
prepared to promptly meet its liabilities. The management has not 
materially changed since the beginning; the former secretary, Harris 
Bateman, died in 1873, when C. M. Pritchard succeeded him to that oflfice. 
The Ohio Valley Coffin Company. — January 27, 1872, Timothy E. 
Scobey, George Hodel, Jr., Israel Crist, Charles Decker, James C. Mar- 
tin, Joseph McGranahan, Charles B. Burkam, Charles Lommel, James 
E. Larimer, John Dorr, Henry Fritz, Thomas Freeman, Washington 
Howard, Julius Israel, Loyd S. Isdell, Christian Knoebel, John Knoebel,. 
Henry Leindecker, James J. McConnell, William Pound, Peter Roller, 
George M. Roberts, Louis Kohlerman, James E. Smashea, William 
Seekatz, Thomas H. Tyson, Mathias Miller, Joseph White, August 
Wencke, organized under an act of the General Assembly of the State of 
Indiana, to be known as the Ohio Valley Coffin Company, with a capital 
stock of $30,000. Existence of the organization to be fifty years; 
object, for the purpose of manufacturing wooden burial caskets and 

The officers of the company were as follows: Timothy E. Scobey, 
president; George T. Bateman, secretary; Israel Crist, treasurer; T. E. 
Scobey, George Hodel, Jr., Israel Crist, Henry Leindecker, Charles 
Decker, James C. Martin, Joseph McGranahan, Charles B. Burkam and 
Charles Lommel, directors. The company erected their buildings on 
High Street, between Ash and Maple Streets. The building for manu- 
facturing purposes is 40x100 feet, three stories high. The warehouse is 
35x70, three stories high. 

For some years the enterprise languished and there was a frequent 
change in officers. The present management, consisting of L. S. Isdell, 
president; Charles Decker, superintendent and manager; Samuel 
McElfresh, secretary and treasurer, have conducted the business since 
in 1875, and under their management the trade has steadily revived 
until the institution now occupies an enviable position. In 1873 
the capital stock was increased to $39,000, and at present its capital 
stock is $58,500. This is one of the leading factories of the city, and is 
doing an extensive business. They manufacture all kinds of coffins, 
caskets, and all kinds of trimmings are kept on hand. The capacity of 
the factory is 600 coffins and caskets per week, and the annual business 
of the concern amounts to upward of $100,000. Employment is given 


to about seveuty-five workmen. The real estate of the company in 1876, 
was valued at $19,000; stock of manufactured articles, $15,000; lumber 
and materials, $7,000. 

Similar Factories That Were. — In the line of manufactories, of 
which we have just been treating, there have been others of considerable 
proportions to which the city pointed with pride, but which are now 
numbered with the things that were. The large four-story brick build- 
ing, forty feet deep located in New Lawrenceburgh, facing Front Street, 
is a monument to the enterprise of the Dearborn Furniture Company, by 
whom it was built in 1873, it and the ground costing about $18,000. 
This company, composed of George Otto, C. J. B. Ratjen, J. C. Keitel, 
J. Gabriel, L. Bock, George Kaffenberger, A. Menken, Christ. Lommel, 
Charles Kepper, Joseph Zengel, G. Baumgartner, Conrad Kepper, B. 
Burkhardt, Rev. C. F. Worth, C. Kleyer, J. Hunnefield, F. Schneider, 
F. Schlosser, P. Jacquot, A. Dietrich, J. W. Roth, J. H. Leindecker, J. 
A. Schwartz, A. Gass, J. W. Loew, Herman Saager, L. Kupperschmidt, 
J. Lose, P. L. Matheus, George Seekatz, C. Israel, J. Duerr, C. Fitterer, 
J. Jack, F. Lang, C. Kress, A. Stienback, H. Knude, Joseph Pallizcino, 
F. J. Messang, F. Kreider, J. Israel, F. Winter, B. Margileth, A. 
Kiefer, M. H. Kiefer, H. Eberharfc, T. W. Kestner, Christopher 
Scherger, Fred Schnider, A. Kanter, W. Panze, John Walser, John 
Smith, John Ott, Fred Petershagen, Frank Federle, William Schoepflen, 
Ed Seekatz and L. Arnold, was organized and'incorpovated in accord- 
ance with the provisions of an act of the General Assembly of the State 
of Indiana, a company to be known as the Dearborn Furniture Company. 
The capital stock of the company was $40,000. They did business sev- 
eral years only. Subsequent to the termination of their business the 
McLain Chair Factory was established in the same building, which was 
carried on only a year or so, when it too passed into history. 

In 1875 a firm under the title of the Lawrenceburgh Chair Company, 
composed of Matthew Bresbo and other practical mechanics, engaged in 
the manufacture of chairs, making a specialty of cane bottom chairs, did 
business on Walnut Street. 

March 17, 1873, the firm of Marsh & Ewbank entered into a partner- 
ship for the manufacture of a general line of wooden burial cases and 
caskets. Their manufactory was situated on Elm Street and was well 
equipped with improved machinery, run by steam power. Their ware 
rooms were on Third Street. This enterprise lasted but a few years 
when it ceased. 

The Bauer Cooperage Company. — One of the leading industries of 
the city was established in 1880 by James Walsh, who conducted the 
business two years, when in 1882 it became the property of the present 


firm, with a capital stock of 1100,000. The members of the company 
and officers are James Walsh, N. J. "Walsh, secretary; D. F. Walsh, 
Jacob N. Bauer, vice-president; John G. Bauer, president and treasurer. 
The buildings and yard of this mammoth enterprise are located in New 
Lawrenceburgh, on the corner of Third Street and the railroad (opposite 
the brewery) and cover nearly half of the block, the main building 
being a large two-story brick. The establishment is equipped with the 
most modern and improved machinery, giving it a capacity of turning 
out 600 casks per day. It gives employment to from 150 to 200 persons. 
The establishment was burned on the night of December 2, 1884, but 
was immediately rebuilt. Whisky casks only are here manufactured. 

The Miami Stove TForAvs, located on the up] er end of High Street be- 
between the tracks of the Big Four and Ohio& Mississippi Railroad, were 
established in 1877 by S. L. Yourtee & Co., of Cincinnati, Ohio. In consid- 
eration, on the part of the city of Lawrenceburgh, of $27,000 and the 
grounds, the company was induced to locate the works at this place. Messrs. 
Frank R. Dorman, James D. Willis, Dr. Harding, George W. Preston, 
H. C. Kidd and Col. Burkam were instrumental in securing the same. 
Iq 1880, Yourtee & Co. assigned, and the establishment became the 
property of a stock company, of which the present capital stock is $50.- 
000, and the officers, Fred Naeher, president; J. E. Warneford, vice- 
president, and Benjamin Ruthman, secretary. The buildings are of 
brick and cover a large area of ground; the main building is three stories 
high, 35x125 feet. The cost of the foundry, ready for operation, was 
$35,000. The full capacity of the establishment is 150 men. They 
manufacture various kinds of cooking and heating stoves, of which the 
Miamis and May-Flowers have gained a large reputation. 

The George Huschart & Co.^s Marble Works.— In the year 1841 George 
Huschart and Jacob Meyer, Si\, entered into a co-partnership for the 
purpose of carrying on the business of marble and freestone works. 
Their place of business was located on the lot where the Odd Fellows 
Hall is now built; the co-partnership existed until 1842. Mr. Meyer 
disposed of his interest and moved to Connersville, Ind. There were 
several changes in the firm from that time to the present, Mr. Huschart 
always retaining a large interest. During that period, by the excellent 
workmanship of the firm, they have built up an extensive trade. The 
firm at present consists of George Huschart and Michael M. Huschart, his 
son. Their place of business is located at Nos. 131, 133 and 135 Walnut 
Street. They are prepared to fill all orders for monuments, tombstones, 
tomb- tables, etc., of American and Italian marble, red and gray Scotch 
granite, in the neatest and most tasteful styles. Mr. George Huschart, 
senior member of the firm, is one of the oldest business men, with a 
reputation for upright dealing in his business unquestioned. 


The Carriage and Spring Wagon Manufactory of William Fike. — In 
1850, A. A. Heifer and John Mower commenced the business of manu- 
facturing carriages in the "old pork house building," on Walnut Street. 
Their partnership continued about four years; they were succeeded by 
Heifer & Woodward, who erected the large building now known as the 
New York Store, in 1855, and carried on a very prosperous business, 
manufacturing carriages mainly for the Southern market. In 1861 Mr. 
Woodward retired from the business, and Mr. Heifer sold the building 
and constructed another on Short Street, where he continued the business 
until 1873, when he sold out to George Pfalzgraf 6l Bro.,who were the 
proprietors of the manufactory up to 1881, when succeeded by the pres- 
ent proprietor, whose place of business is designated as Nos. 23 & 25 
Short Street, where he manufactures all kinds of buggies, phaetons, 
spring-wagons, etc. He employs eight men. 

The A. D. Cook Pump and Tube Well Manufactory. — These works 
and light machine shops are located on the south side of Walnut, be- 
tween Centre and Tate Streets, where are manufactured improved tube 
wells, tube well strainers, the latter of which he makes a specialty of, 
and on which he has established a good trade. All kinds of repairing 
is also done by Mr. Cook, who is a live and enterprising man. The es- 
tablishment was founded in 1882 and now gives employment to fifteen 

The Burkam Lumber Company was established in 1865 by J. H. 
Burkam, with an investment of $20,000. In 1883 it was transferred to 
a stock company, known under the above title. The firm is now com- 
posed of J. H., W. T. and F. M. Burkam. The planing-mill, door, 
flooring and sash factory and lumber yards are located on the corner of 
Short and William Streets, where the business has been continuously 
and extensively carried on. 

P. Walter & Son, Dealer in Agricultural Implements, Feed Store and 
Manufacturers of Wagons, Farming Tools and General Blacksmithing. — 
This establishment is located on Walnut Street, and was founded, the 
wagon and blacksmith department in 1879, and the implement business 
added in 1882. These gentlemen are enterprising and public-spirited 
business men, and deserving of the patronage of the country at large. 

The Manufacture of Cigars. — For a period in this city's history and 
that of the county. Dearborn was also famous for this branch of indus- 
try. In the year 1873 it was said that there were more cigars manu- 
factured in this county than in any other county in the United States 
west of Cincinnati. The following is a statement of the number of 
cigars sold by each manufacturer in the county during the year 1873; 


C. H. Werneke (Lawrenceburgh) 2,145,300 

J. Rief & Bro. (Lawrenceburgh) 1,859,550 

William Huber (Lawrenceburgh) 700,000 

George Ritter (Aurora) 63,000 

C. F. Cless (Aurora) 71,000 

J. P. Arnold (Aurora) 118,000 

Abeles & Jaehing (Aurora), eight months 63,000 

H. Danimyer (Manchester) 183,000 

H. Maune (St. Leon) 52,000 

V. Hoff (Lawrenceville) 29,000 

Total 5,303,050 

Of the three Lawrenceburgh factories referred to, the one of Clamor 
H. W. Werneke was established by that gentleman on a small scale in 
1853. His business constantly increased, and from the first year's labor 
of two hands and 100,000 cigars manufactured, it grew to that extent 
that for a number of years there were employed from sixty to eighty 
hands, manufacturing annually from 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 cigars, and 
expending for labor over $30,000, requiring an outlay for material to be 
used in the process of manufacturing of over $35,000, and paying an- 
nually to the General Government for revenue stamps over $16,000. In 
1876 the county press thus alluded to him: "His manufactory is located 
on High Street, built of brick, three stories high, and complete in all its 
departments. Mr. "Werneke, with all his enterprise and energy, has 
proven a benefactor to the interests of the laboring masses of our city. 
He has taught hundreds the trade and ever acted generously with them; 
and to-day, many of the first-class business men of the trade throughout 
the various cities and towns of the "West learned the business with him. 
Upright and prompt in all his dealings, he is known and appreciated in 
all bubiness circles. May the pioneer of this great manufacturing inter- 
est of our city live many years to enjoy the fruits of his energy and 

In the centennial issue of the Register the factories of Jacob Rief & 
Bro., and that of William Huber were thus referred to: "On the 1st 
day of September, 1869, Jacob Rief & Bro., engaged in the manu- 
facturing of a general line of cigars. Their manufactory was first located 
on the corner of Walnut and William Streets, with a capital of less than 
$100. Mr. Jacob Rief being a practical cigar maker, purchased the 
materials and sold in a retail way at his shop the manufactured goods. 
In time the business increased, and he employed one journeyman; dur- 
ing the year 1869, there were manufactin'edJ39, 100 cigars; in the year 
1870 the business still inc7"eased, and there were manufactured 119,200 
cigars, which were principally sold in a retail way to the the trade in the 
city. In the year 1871, was the commencement of the wholesale busi- 


ness of the firm. A wholesale jobber in the trade at Indianapolis having 
seen a sample of the goods being manufactured, called at the shop, and 
astonished Mr. Rief by proposing to contract for the delivery of 10,000 
cigars per week. He laid down his knife and the unfinished cigar, and 
accepted the offer. At once with his usual energy he proceeded to ar- 
range for the fulfillment of his contract. Closing out the retail depart- 
ment he moved to more commodious rooms on the corner of New and 
Walnut Streets; during that year he gave employment to from twelve to 
fifteen persons; manufactured and sold 359,000 cigars. In the year 
following the business was extended beyond the limits of the State, and 
there were manufactured and sold 638,100 cigars. During the year fol- 
lowing Mr. Rief facilitated the manufacturing of cigars by adopting 
and using the Oberhelm patent molds; and having enlarged the manu- 
factory buildings, employed a traveling agent to assist in introducing 
his goods and making sales; the success and extent of the business of 
that year far exceeded the most sanguine expectations of the firm, and 
there were manufactured and sold 2,161,750 cigars, giving employment 
to from fifty to sixty persons. The business continually increased, and 
there are annually manufactured over 3,000,000 cigars, giving employ- 
ment to over eighty persons, and paying annually for labor the sum of 
$31,000, and for materials in the manufacture of goods over $42,000, 
and paying annually to the General Government for revenue stamps over 
$16,000. Their manufactory is located at the corner of Walnut and 
New Streets, 65x132 feet, and two stories high. The real estate and 
buildings are valued at $10,000. The rapid growth and success of this 
enterprise has been mainly attributed to the indomitable energy and 
business qualifications of Mr. Jacob Rief. He is yet a young man, raised 
in our midst; he has done a great deal in building up the manufactur- 
ing interests of his native city. 

" William Huber commenced the manufactui-e of cigars in the year 
1866, being a practical cigar-maker, decided that he would commence 
business for himself. Purchasing twenty-five pounds of tobacco, he 
manufactured it, sold his cigars, purchased more stock, and by his in- 
dustry and economy and honorable attention to business, he has in a few 
years succeeded in establishing and building up a lucrative business. 
He gives employment to from twelve to fifteen persons, and annually 
manufactures from 500,000 to 700,000 cigars. His manufactory is 
located on the corner of Walnut and William Streets. He is a young 
man of good business qualifications, prompt and reliable, and of in- 
dustrious habits, and ranks among our men of enterprise and energy." 

Mr. Huber is still carrying on the business, but now located on High 
Street between Walnut and Short. Neither of the other two factories 
are in existence in the city at this time. 

^y^?^^ /4^t:>o- *-i^^^ c^i^ 


Other Past Manufacturies. — On High Street, opposite the courthouse 
is a large brick building in which was formerly carried on the. business 
of the Lawrenceburgh Woolen Mills. The building is 90x54 feet and 
four stories high, in which were erected six machines called "Jacks," of 
264 spindles each, or 1,584 in the aggregate. The Lawrenceburgh Woolen 
Manufacturing Company was organized February, 1866, with a capital 
stock of $50,000 . Its president was E. S. Blasdel and the secre- 
tary was E. D. Moore. The board of directors were E. G. Hayes, W. 
Hayes, John H. Ga£f, Isaac Dunn, E. S. Blasdel, L. B. Lewis and C. B. 
Burkam. That spring they purchased of Col. J. H. Burkam the site 
upon which this building was erected. The machinery for the factory 
cost $35,000. Late in the year 1870 the mills suspended. 

Along the river bank about opposite St. Clair Street several years ago 
the firm of Henry Fitch & Co. built one of the largest and most com- 
plete saw-mills in the State, having a capacity of sawing 80,000 feet of 
lumber per day. The machinery was of the most improved order and 
was put in the mill to get out rough and finished lumber with the great- 
est speed possible. The mill was supplied with electric lights, and was 
operated most of the time both day and night, and manuf actm-ed every, 
thing from lath to the largest building material, and without doubt the 
enterprise was the most gigantic ever attempted in this part of the State. 


The gas works of this city are located in New Lawrenceburgh, along 
the track of the Big Four Railroad. They were established in 1868 by 
a stock company with a capital stock of $28,600, and built by Messrs. 
Barringer & Ewing. The first board of directors were J. H. Gaff, Theo- 
dore Gazlay, O. T. Stockman, Zeph Heustis, A. A. Heifer, J. Giphard, J. 
B. Shephard and John Hornberger. The first officers were J. H. Gaff, 
president; Theodore Gazlay, vice-president; O. T. Stockman, secretary, 
and J. H. Lewis, treasurer. 

The works were completed and the city lighted with gas for the first 
time on the night of Monday October 12, 1868. 


The first thoroughly organized and equipped fire department of the 
city was established in 1882. This year a committee appointed by the 
council purchased two steam fire engines manufactured by the Ahrens 
Company of Cincinnati, the cost of the engines complete with reel cart 
and 2,000 feet of hose to be $10,800. January 25, 1883, the engines 
name "Miami" and "Edenburg" put in their appearance. The Miami 
was at once given a test trial in the presence of a large crowd of citizens 


In about three and a half minutes after the match was applied to the 
engine she was throwing a full stream of water as high as any house in 
the city. The trial was satisfactory. Both engines are alike, and were 
much admired on their first appearance on the street. "The fire laddies 
acquitted themselves with credit in handling the hose, considering it was 
their first experience in this line. They found the hose a rather tough 
customer to handle at first and not a few of them were sprinkled in their 
efiforts to manage when a full stream was being thrown." Both the New- 
town and Oldtown companies are well officered and there is no reason why 
they should not prove to be one of the best volunteer fire departments 
in the State. The companies are composed of men of energy and pluck, 
and if they manifest the interest and enthusiasm that their friends ex- 
pect, they will soon become the pride of our city. 

Two engine houses, both substantial and ornamental brick buildings, 
located on the north side of Short, between High and William Streets, 
and on Third, near Shipping Street (Newtown), were at once built, and 
have since been the quarters of the two companies, which are styled 
Lawrenceburgh Fire Company No. 1 and Lawrenceburgh Fire Com- 
pany No. 2. On the adoption of the constitution and by-laws in Janu- 
ary, 1883, the companies were given as follows: 

Fire Company No. 2. — Chief of Fire Department, August D. Cook; 
assistant chief, J. H. Menke, Sr. ; captain, John T. Tittel; lieutenant, 
Gustav H. Donk; secretary, Charles Spanagel; assistant secretary, 
Henry G-ambor; treasurer, J. H. Menke, Sr. ; hose directors — Jacob 
Schimpf, Jr., Henry A. Menke, Jr., Andrew J, Pusey, Jr., John Spana- 
gel, Henry Stahla,"John B. Garnier, Jr.; messengers — Charles Miller, 
Frank Lipps, John Gambor; police — Jacob A. Lamason, Peter Zins, 
John Weaver, John Gardner, August Yerger; standing committee — 
Harry F. Leuchtenburg, Harry Vest, Al Sherrod; engineers — George 
W. Ward, Albert Sherrod; stokers — George W. Foster, Edward Leien- 
decker; ax men — William Kaffenberger, Henry Gambor; additional 
members — George Bechtel, Barney Niemeyer, William Hardley, Edward 
Heaton; Asa Dillon, William Bush, Andrew Gross. 

Fire Company No. 1. — Chief of Fire Department, August D. Cook; 
assistant chief, Hugh S. Miller; captain, James Brannon; lieutenant, 
Theodore Wade; secretary, John G. King; treasurer, Mathias Hansel 
man; engineers — J. W. Fawcett, Robert Killough, Wilson F. Gaff; 
stokers — Charles E. Crontz, Perry A. Skinner, George Schrader, 
John C. Ratjen; pipemen — James Isherwood, Charles F. Kohr, John 
O'Toole, William Lannigan; police — John Sicking, Henry Schrader, 
William Henn, P. W. Jackson, Hanson Freeman; messengers — A. J. 
Huffman, Ralph Fisher, F. Ferguson. Hook and ladder company — 


foreman, William Sparks; James Walker, Louis Hitzfield, Gustavo 
AV^ehrlinof, Frank Mason, Isaac Squires, William Standrifif, Frank Bar- 
tholome, Charles Schrader, Edward Barrett, Albert Bartholome, R, Kro- 
nenberg, James Haney, Samuel Grififith. The fire plugs and cisterns are 
set forth in the following list: Plugs — At Miami Stove Foundi'y, west 
end of Columbus, Indianopolis, St. Louis & Cincinnati depot, Miami 
Valley Furniture Factory, Lawrenceburgh Flour-Mill, McLean Chair 
Factory, Lawrenceburgh furniture company, Rossville Distillery, Squibb's 
Distillery. Cisterns — Corner St. Clair and Center Streets, corner Elm 
and Margaret Streets, corner High and Short Streets, corner Walnut and 
Centre Streets, corner High and Charlotte Streets, in front of Catholic 
school building, in front of Catholic Church, corner First and Front 
Streets, Newtown; corner Third and Main Streets, Newtown; corner 
Main and New Streets, Newtown. 


Union Lodge No. 8, of the I. O. O. F., was instituted at Lawrence- 
burgh on the 1st day of February, 1841, in the building on High Street 
several years ago, occupied by Werneke's cigar manufactory, by Grand 
Master Christian Bucher, and assistants. The charter members were 
N. N. John, Benjamin Mayhew, John Wymond, William Eichelberger 
and Willis Miles. The first officers were William Eichelberger, N. G. ; 
Benjamin Mayhew, V. G. ; N. N. John, secretary; John Wymond, treas- 
urer. Nearly all the other charter members (in 1876) had passed away. 
Brother John then resided in Galveston, Texas; Brother Wymond in 
Indianopolis. Brother Mayhew died in this city, and the members of the 
order, true to their sacred principles, assisted and educated his orphans. 
Brother Eichelberger died June 2, 1871. He was a true and noble 
man, an honor to his lodge, and a faithful exponent of its charitable 
teachings. He lived respected by his fellow men, and died lamented by 
all who knew him. The first initiations were George Dunn, John Gill, 
David Gibson, J. S. Lemly, John Kyle, Jesse Hippie and Martin H. 
Oflfutt. The oldest member of the lodge (in 1876) was Samuel Craft, of 
Atchison, Kas., who had been a member since February 24, 1841. 
January 18, 1845, Brothers George Dunn, P. Ewing, Jason Piei'ce, 
H. R. Hall, George Chandler, William Davidson, John Medrus, O. T. 
Stockman, O. P. Gray, George Morton and E. Bateman withdrew by 
card for the purpose of organizing Vigilance Lodge No. 16. Said lodge 
has since surrendered its charter. The lodge now numbers sixty- five, 
and it is officered as follows: Stephen H. Heustis, noble grand; D. C. 
Huffman, vice grand; J. R. Kuhlman, permanent secretary; William 
Fagaly, recording secretary; Peter Braun, treasurer; John D. Bostic, 
conductor; George Wood, warden; John M. Roehm, I. Guardian. 


December 9, 1850, Brothers H. Dawson, R. Greenfield, Robert 
Lancaster and E. Jackson, withdrew for the purpose of establishing a 
lodge at Guilford. In the year 1853, the present hall building was 
erected at a cost of $11,500. 

From the organization of the lodge up to 1876, there were received 
as members 375 persons. The financial condition of the lodge was then: 
General fund, $9,509.75; orphan fund, $2,172.43. 

Foriuna Lodge No. 289, I. O. O. i^.— July 29, 1867, C. J. B. 
Ratjen, L. Adler, George P. Vogel, George Myers, William Young, 
Anton Schneider, William Linkenbach, John Eisel, Frederick Klein- 
hans and A. Probsel, withdrew from Union Lodge, for the purpose of 
organizing Fortuna Lodge No. 289, which is in a flourishing condition. 

Lawrenceburgh Chajjter No. 56, R. A. M. — Dispensation granted 
December 20, 1865, signed by Thomas Pattison, G. H. P., and William 
Hacker, G. Sec. The petitioners were James M. Brashei', E. G. Hayes, 
J. W. Mills, William Smith, Leon Adler, J. H. Gafif, Alex Beckman, 
George Mather, E. S. Blasdell. The charter was granted May 24, 1866. 
Comp. Pattison installed Comp. J. M. Brasher as M. E. ; H. P. Beck- 
man, King, and J. H. Gaff, Scribe. The joint election of officers, June 
27, 1867, resulted as follows: Alexander Beckman, H. P; B. S. Blasdell, 
K; J. H. Gaflf, secretary; Leon Adler, C. H. ; J. M. Brasher, P. S.; S. Hor- 
ton, R. A. C. ; J. C. Hibbets, secretary; George Decker, treasurer; E. G. 
Haynes, Capt. third vail; J. H. Burkam, second vail; R. R. Benham, 
first vail; William F. Crocker, guard. The present membership is 
thirty-two. The present officers are as follows: S. H. Collins, H. P.; 
N. S. Givan, K; L. S. Isdell, Scribe; S. Dickinson, C. H. ; J. C. Hibbets, 
P. S.; J. F. Rolf, R. A. C; R. R. Benham, Capt. third vail; J. M. Pal- 
mer, Capt. second vail; J. R. Trisler, Capt. first vail; Louis Adler, 
treasurer; George Decker, secretary. 

Dearborn Lodge No. 49, K. of P., was instituted at Lawrenceburgh 
by W. G. Wheeler, D. D. G. C, with other members of Aurora, July 2, 
1874, with the following named thirteen charter members: John E. 
Ammel, P. C. : Martin- L. Rouse, 0. C. ; Joseph R. Kuhlman, V. C. ; 
John H. Russe, P. ; Samuel M. Shephard, K. of R. and S. ; Boone Rice, 
M. of F. ; Joseph Mooney, M. of E. ; R. J. Wood, M. at A. ; Charles 
Shephard, I. G. ; George W. Johnson, O. G. ; Hugh S. Miller, Robert 
Killough, Edward Dobell. Present membership, ninety. 

The Lawrenceburgh Liedertafel was organized in October, 1858, with 
eight members. Rules and by-laws were made and adopted September 8, 
1859, and the first regular election of officers occurred October 13, of 
that year, Prof. Meyer and Frederick Haas acting as president and 
secretary, respectively, in the meantime. The first officers elected were 


Charles J. B. Ratgen, president; Dr. August Schmitt, secretary, and 
Michael Lang, treasurer. The society, though experiencing di'awbacks, 
has been continuous since the organization, and is now in a prosperous 
condition, with a membership of about eighty persons. The present offi- 
cers are Charles Decker, president; James R. Kuhlman, vice-president; 
Charles Ratgen, Jr., secretary; Frank Federle, treasurer; Emil A. 
Roehing, director of singing. 

Germania Lodge No. 223, D. O. H., was instituted February 22, 1871, 
by officers of the State Lodge of Indianapolis with a membership of 
twelve. The present officers are Jacob Decker, O. B. ; Frederick Krieg, 
XJ. B.; Herman Hoefer, secretary; Charles J. B. Ratgen, treasurer. 
Lodge room in the third story of building on the corner of Short and 
Centre Streets. 

Columbia Grove No. 2, U. A. O. D., was instituted November 1, 1858, 
with thirteen members, by a gentleman from Louisville, Ky. The 
present officers are Adam Proebsel, E. E. ; Anton Kiefer, U. E. ; Charles 
J. B. Ratgen, secretary, and John Albrecht, treasurer. The society 
meets in hall in third story of building on the corner of Short and 
Centre Streets. 


It is said that the first brick house erected in Lawrenceburgh was 
built by Dr. Jabez Percival, in the very beginning of the present centu- 
ry. The building is still standing and is in a good state of preserva- 
tion. It is located in the rear of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and 
faces the river, and is now known as the "Bee Hive." It is a substantial, 
two-story structure, quite large; the lower windows in front are square; 
the walls are about three feet thick, and in which were used what is 
called "slop brick," an article of brick made by hand, but dipped, while 
raw, in water instead of sand. It seems bricklayers in that day were 
not adepts in mechanics, and did not know how to construct the modern 
arch with brick, with its key, etc. In this building, wherever an arch 
occurs, the key, or center brick, is of mammoth proportions, formino- 
about one-third of the arch. An ordinary sized man could easily go to 
sleep on its walls, and even if disturbed by a bad dream, could roll and 
still retain his position on the outer wall. 

What is known by the older residents of Lawrenceburgh as the Hunt 
Hotel, a large, three-story brick building on the corner of Walnut and 
High Streets, was erected in 1819 or 1820, by Jesse Hunt, and is said to 
have been the first three-story brick structure erected in the State. This 
three-story house, it is stated by old settlers, struck the then primitive 
citizens with a kind of awe of curiosity and wonder. While the third 
tory was being added, frequent remarks were made, like " What in the 


world is Jesse Hunt going to do with them rooms way up there? A fel- 
low would break his neck looking out of them windows," etc. 

Until within recent years there were several old territorial relics in 
possession of Maj. Anderson, formerly proprietor of the Anderson House 
(old Hunt Hotel, above referred to), which consisted of an antiquated- 
looking, high desk, and a common table (both very solidly and honestly 
made), both of which formed part of the furniture of the first land office 
established in the Northwest Territory. These articles did their duty 
both at Vincennes and Cincinnati, the late Peyton Symmes being their 
last user in Cincinnati ere the land office was removed to Chillicothe. 
The old desk and table then became the property of Gen. Harrison, and 
were saved out of the destruction by fire of the Harrison homestead at 
North Bend. 


The 4:th of July, 1876, was appropriately observed at Lawrencebnrgh. 
The city was pretty profusely and extensively decorated, large flags be- 
ing suspended from the principal buildings and across the streets. On 
the night of the 3d Capt. Shrader's company camped in the fair ground, 
and at midnight began a march through the city, on their way firing sa- 
lutes in front of the houses of the mayor, councilmen, and other prom- 
inent citizens. The procession formed on Walnut Street under Grand 
Marshal F. R. Doi'man, composed of the Continental Guards and differ- 
ent societies of citizens; two decorated cars, each containing a young 
lady representing the Goddess of Liberty, surrounded by others repre- 
senting different States; the ship of state manned by youths in sailor's 
costume, and bearing a young lady representing Columbia, and two dec- 
orated cars containing little girls in costumes displaying the national 

The procession marched through the principal streets, thence to the 
fair grounds, where the exercises of the day took place. The latter con- 
sisted of music by the band, prayer by William Chapman, reading of 
the Declaration of Independence in English by E. F. Sibley, addresses 
by Capt. J. D. Willis, reading of the Declaration of Independence in 
German by Charles J. B. Ratgen, and addresses by R. E. Slater and J. 
E. Larimer. 




Location and Origin— Incorporation and the Early Village— Rem- 
iniscences— Acts OF Aurora's First Magistrate— Aurora a City 
ITS Mayors— The Electric Telegraph and Telephone— The City, 
1858-59— Groavtii and Progress— Fire of 1882- Floods of 1882-83-84— 
Educational Fire Department— Ecclesiastical History— Lead- 
ing Manufacturing Interests— Banking Houses—The Grand Op- 
era House— Postmasters— Societies. 

AURORA is situated on the right bank of the Ohio River, four 
miles below Lawrenceburgh and twenty-six below the city of Cin- 
cinnati, Ohio. The natural beauty of the site of the city is rarely sur- 
passed, the river at this point making a graceful curve or bend, and 
thereby is given the city one of the finest harbors on the river from 
Pittsburgh to its mouth. Partially built on and surrounded by towering 
hills, with both branches of Hogan Creek gently wending their way 
through her limits, it possesses that picturesque and romantic air seldom 
bestowed on any city. In the growth of the city these hills have been 
climbed, and many are the beautiful homes here located from which the 
lover of nature can feast his eyes upon a grand and most beautiful pic- 

The original plat of the village contained about 206 lots, besides six 
public squares or tracts of ground equal to twelve lots, and extended 
from the Ohio River — Water Street — to Ridgeway, a street parallel with 
Water, and from Importing Street to Library Street. It was laid out in 
1819, by Jesse L. Holman, trustee for the "Aurora Association for Inter- 
nal Improvements, on fractional Sections 32 and 33, Town 5, Range 1 
west. These fractional sections bordering on the Ohio River, were 
entered by Charles Vattier, then of Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 18th day of 
September, 1804, and were purchased in 1819 by an association of gen- 
tlemen residing in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, for the purpose of 
laying out a town. The association was called "The Aurora Association 
for Internal Improvements." The two fractional sections, except a 
small reservation at Hogan Creek, were conveyed to Jesse L. Holman, in 
trust for the association, on the 14th day of January, 1819, and the 
original plat of the town was acknowledged by Mr. Holman as trustee, 


before James Dill, recorder of the county, on the 30th day of January, 
1819, and recorded the same day, when Judge Holman gave the pros- 
pective city the name of "Aurora.'' 

The following is an extract from the original article of agreement 
between Vattier and the purchasers: 

"Articles of agreement and association entered into this day, Jan- 
uary, 14, 1819, between Charles Vattier, of Cincinnati, in the State 
of Ohio, of the first part, and Jesse L. Holman, Richard Norris, 
Martin Cozine, Samuel Moore, Erasmus Powell, David Fisher, Jehi- 
el Buffington, and James Powell, of Indiana; Elijah Horsley, Will- 
iam Scandrett, Philip Craig and Ebenezer GrifiSng, of Kentucky; 
John W. Langdon, Daniel Dudley, Benjamin Mudge, Charles Farren 
Watson Lewis and Jesse L. Langdon, of Ohio, parties of the second part, 
are as follows, viz.: Charles Vattier, party of the first part, for and in 
consideration of the covenants and agreements herein and after ex- 
pressed, to be performed on the part of the said parties of the second 
part, has this day and hereby does grant, bargain and sell to them, the 
said parties of the second part, nineteen -twentieths of two portions 
of land in Dearborn County, in the State of Indiana, situate at 
the mouth of Hogan Creek, viz. : fractions thirty-two and thirty- 
three, containing 516 35-100 acres, more or less." By the terms of the 
instrument, Vattier reserved that part of Section 32 which lies on 
the upper side of Hogan Creek. The association was to pay $19,000 
for the property in ten equal annual installments. The first installment 
was paid one year from the date of transfer, and one each year there- 
after until all were paid. 

The first meeting of the association was held on the 20th of January, 
1819, with all the members present. Judge Jesse L. Holman, father of 
Hon. W. S. Holman, was chosen president of the meeting, and Benjamin 
Mudge, clerk. At this meeting a constitution governing the association, 
which had been previously drafted, was accepted. The constitution pro- 
vided that the regular meetings of the association be held twice a year, 
on the second Monday in January and July. Jesse L. Holman was 
appointed trustee of the association, in whom the legal title of the land 
was ■ invested. The constitution was acknowledged before Charles B. 
Cannon, a justice of the peace in Dearborn County, on the 25th of Janu- 
ary, 1819, and placed on record in the books of James Dill, county 
recorder, on the 30th. At the first meeting it was decided that "the 
company proceed by themselves or their directors to lay out a town, to 
build an ox saw-mill and grist-mill, a bridge across Hogan Creek, a 
warehouse or such other improvements as they may judge proper." On 
the 1st of February, 1819, it was ordered that the directors receive sealed 


proposals for the building of a bridge across Hogan Creek, at the end of 
Bridgeway Street. One of the conditions of the contract was that the 
"proprietors and their families pass toll free." The bridge was not 
built until 1836. At a meeting held April 13, 1819, Richard Norris, as 
agent of the company, was required to give bonds in the sum of $40,000; 
as treasurer Philip Craig gave bonds to the extent of $30,000. 

The first sale of lots took place April 28, 1819, with the terms of 
sale as follows: 

" One per cent in hand; one-fifth, including the 1 per cent, in eight 
weeks; one-fourth of the balance every year thereafter until paid. If 
not paid punctually interest to be added from the time of contract." 
At this sale 206 lots were disposed of, including those donated to persons 
who agreed to commence improvements at once. The lowest price paid 
for a single lot was $60, the highest $486. The entire sale amounted to 
$28,553. On the 11th of July, 1820, Elias Conwell^was admitted as a 
member of the association, he having purchased the shares owned by 
Erasmus Powell. Other transfers of stock were afterward made. About 
this time the company commenced drilling wells for salt water, near 
where the Crescent Brewing Company's brewery now stands, and Horace 
Bassett and Conwell were appointed a committee to superintend the work. 
In January, 1820, an entire square was donated to Samuel Harris, on con- 
dition that he would make improvements on the same equal to four sub- 
stantial buildings within eighteen months. At the same meeting of the 
company it was ordered as follows: " That four lots be donated to the 
friends of Samuel Harris, and ground suflScient to establish a cotton-mill 
or woolen-mill, provided the same be established thereon within four 
years." January 10, 1821, the ferries across the Ohio River and Hogan 
Creek were leased to Edward Fairchild for a term of two years. 

October 24, 1822, Jesse L. Holman resigned his position as director, 
trustee and treasurer, his duties as one of the three judges of the 
supreme court, to which place he had been appointed by Gov. Jennings, 
demanding all his attention. The thanks of the association were ten- 
dered him for the " ability, wisdom, impartiality and integrity with 
which he managed the concerns of the company." The trust property 
was then conveyed to Richard Norris, afterward to Horace Basset, and 
finally to Isaiah Wing. The proceedings of a meeting of the company 
held April 27, 1820, are so brief, and withal so unique, that they deserve 
to be reproduced: 

Resolved. That when any member wishes to speak he shall rise and respectfullv 
address Mr. President. 

Resolved, That when two or more rise to speak at the same time, the president 
shall decide which shall proceed. 

Adjourned to attend the sale of lots. 



The deed from Charles Vattier and Camila, his wife, conveying the 
property to the Aurora Association, was acknowledged before Isaac G. 
Burnett, who was the mayor of Cincinnati. 

The lots were sold mostly on credit, and at very high prices, and 
for three or four years a great deal of public attention was given to the 
enterprise and quite a flourishing little village was built up, but at that 
time there was but little immigration Westward, great scarcity of money, 
and few of the lots were paid for, and many of them forfeited to the 
association, Charles Vattier became the owner of a large number of the 
lots and most of the reserved lands, and afterward transferred the same 
to William Israel, attorney in trust, and he to Buchanan, Buell and Lane, 
which became the property, by transfer, of George W. Lane about the 
year 1835. 

Mr. Holman, as trustee of the association, acknowledged an addition 
to the village in the spring of 1820 to be correct. In 1837 twenty out- 
lots, containing a fraction over forty-eight acres of land, were added. 
Later additions were made in 1844 by George W. Lane; in 1845 by 
George W. Chrisman; and in 1846 by Henry Walker. 

The following lots were designated and set apart by the association for 
special purposes, January 18, 1820: on Literary, now Fifth Street, lot 
No. 208, for Library Association; two lots east of the old Baptist Church 
building, lot No. 209, to the Aurora Baptist Church; one lot east of the 
present old church building, lot No. 210, for school purposes; the lot 
on which now stands the old meeting-house, a public square at the head 
of Judiciary Street; lot No. 216, to the Masonic Order; on the site of the 
residence of Rev. Mr. Freeman, lot No. 221, to the Methodist Episcopal 
Church; on the site of the residence of Joseph MeCreary, lot No. 221, 
for school purposes; adjoining lots mentioned one, lot No. 227, to 
Presbyterian Church; one lot west of the Mrs. James Wymond's residence, 
lot No. 228, for school purposes. 


In September, 1822, an election was held to choose a board of 
trustees for the corporation of Aurora, when the following named persons 
were elected: Edward Fairchild, Timothy Brown, Elias Con well, Abraham 
St. John and Ebenezer B. Mudge. Horace Bassett was chosen clerk of 
the board. Up to this date improvements in the town had gone forward 
slowly, and many of the lots were forfeited to the association, owing to 
the inability of the purchasers to meet payments. It was necessary, in 
many cases, to grant further time to those who were improving the donation 
lots. One of the first houses built in the town was erected on a donation 
vt, by Henry Van Middlesworth. It was finished in 1822, and occupied 


for several years as a hotel and store, being, probably, the first public 
house in the place. It was known as the "Aurora Hotel," and was kept 
by Van Middlesworth. The house still remains, and is now the residence 
of Ira Hill, corner of Front and Second Streets. Conwell and Vattier 
became the owners of many of the lots, and among the first buildings 
erected may also be mentioned the frame house which yet stands at the 
south end of Hogan Creek bridge, corner of Main and Importing Streets, 
and the frame part of the Eagle Hotel, on Front Street. The former was 
built by Conwell, who occupied it as a store and dwelling for many 
years, and the latter by Vattier. In this building Vattier kept the first 
saloon that was opened in Aurora. Among the first brick houses erected 
is the one at present occupied by Mrs. Cochran and daughters, corner of 
Main and Second Streets. It was built by Aaron Foulk, father of L. N. 
Foulk, who had a store there for some time. One or two stores besides 
those mentioned, were kept in Aurora at that period, while Wilmington 
had about three places where merchandise was bought and sold. Takino- 
the extent of the population into consideration the community was quite 
as well supplied with places of business in those early times as now. 
But few steam-boats were running, and the merchants brought their goods 
from Cincinnati in small flat-boats. Previous to the flat-boat the pirogue, 
a craft of the canoe kind, was used for the transportation of goods. The 
first ferries across the river and creek at this point consisted of these 

The fertile lands of southeastern Indiana were attracting emigrants 
from the country East, and from 1820 to 1825 the population of Dear- 
born County increased with wonderful rapidity. Center Township (then 
Laughery Township) and the new town of Aurora received a fair share 
of this population. Many new houses were erected in the town and con- 
siderable business activity was manifested. The panic was brought on 
about this period by the failure of banks in all parts of the country, and 
Aurora suffered with every other town and city in the West. A check 
was put upon improvements, and but little progress was made for some 
time. Money was scarce and the products of the country lower than evei- 
before or since. Prime corn would bring but 7 cents a bushel; eggs 
were sold for 2 cents a dozen, and butter for 3 cents a pound. Other 
things were proportionately low. 

In 1823-24 Pinkney James, of Cincinnati, built a small steam-boat 
on the bank of the Ohio, in front of the Eagle Hotel property, and on the 
4th day of July, 1824, it was launched, and the event celebrated by the 
firing of cannon, etc. The boat was named the "Clinton." Hundreds 
of persons came in from the surrounding country to witness the demon- 
strations and pass the Fourth in town. During the festivities, Henry 


Van Middlesworth was killed. He was assisting in the loading and 
managing at the caonon, when a premature explosion took place, killing 
him instantly. He was standing in front of the gun ramming the charge 
with an iron bar. The top of his head was carried away, and the body 
hurled over the bank, a distance of several feet. Old citizens speak of 
this day as exceeding all others in the history of the town in the amount 
of drunkenness, fighting and general lawlessness indulged in. The town 
was filled with people, and whisky was sold and drank without stint. 
Two roughs had a desperate fight in the blood where Van Middlesworth 
fell, and immediately after the body was removed, while scores of people 
looked on and applauded the beastly spectacle. Dozens of tights occurred 
during the day, and for the time being law and order were accounted 
as naught. Among other incidents a notorious rough named Kilgour, 
who had been drinking heavily, drew a pistol on David Milburn, against 
whom he had a fancied grudge, and was only prevented from firing by a 
cool-headed bystander striking the weapon from his hand. 

The first house in this locality, in the building of which any 
pretensions were made to appearance or convenience, was erected by 
Clayborn Morrison, at a very early date, on the site of Strawder Cheek's 
residence. It was built of logs (a decided improvement on poles, willows 
and bark), was higher than the architect of the period seemed to require, 
and contained three rooms. History is silent as to the way in which this 
residence was furnished, but as Mr. Morrison was probably a gentleman of 
advanced ideas, it is safe to presume that he had his forest home fixed 
up in a manner closely akin to "style. " The second house of this character 
was built and occupied by Page Cheek, and was located somewhere 
on the present Billingsley farm. 

Referring again to Mr. Conwell, it was stated at his death that he, in 
1819, erected the building at the corner of First and Main Streets, and 
in it established the first mercantile store in the village, and in connec- 
tion therewith kept the postoflfice for eight years. His house was the 
resort of politicians and others, and his estimable lady, a daughter of 
Charles Tatem, of Cincinnati, made their abode the seat of refined 

In 1828 the author of a geography and history of the Western States 
thus spoke of Aurora: "Aurora is a new village at the mouth of Hogan 
Creek, four miles below Lawrenceburgh on the Ohio. It contains between 
sixty and seventy dwelliugs." 

Five years later (1833). The Indiana Gazateer thus described the 
village : " It contained about 600 inhabitants, 3 stores, 1 tavern, a 
physician, a lawyer, a preacher of the Gospel, several mechanics of 
different professions, a seminary, a church, and a large and prosperous 



The following article containing reminiscences of early Aurora was 
published in the Independent Banner in 1852, then edited by N. D, 
Folbre : 

"We are no stranger in Aux'ora. Our earliest recollections in life 
had their existence here. Our days, from our infancy, have been mostly 
spent in this place ; and we profess to know something of its early his- 

"All that territory now covered with neat houses, and known as the 
Fifth Ward of the town, we knew when it was overspread with Indian 
corn, yielding annually a bountiful harvest. Beneath Chambers' store 
once run a deep ravine, from the hills west of the town, and emptied 
into the Ohio. So deep was that ravine, that a tolerably sized wooden 
bridge was thrown across it, for the benefit of the citizens and travelers. 
In summer we have played in its waters ; in winter have skated upon its 
frozen surface. Our playmates, who sported with us then, are now 
nearly all gone ; some are in California, a few yet reside here, but most 
of them are dead. 

"Remember well the old grist-mill which stood on the bank of South 
Hogan Creek, about fifty yards to the right of the walnut tree at the head 
of Third Street ; saw the oxen when they tramped the wheel that turned 
the mill, and the miller when he took his toll. Recollect when Hogan 
Creek at its mouth was sixty feet deep (when the Ohio was low), and the 
old Frenchman, Vattier, when he kept the ferry across it, and took his 
'eleven -penny bit.' In those days this • 

' Town was all covered over 
With bramble and with clover.' 

and some dog- fennel and a few Jamestown (Jimpson) weeds. Oh! those 
were brave old days. 

"At a still earlier date, about the year 1828, when four years of age 
we attended school, held in a log- cabin, which stood on what was then a 
grassy common, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, west of Squire Harris' 
dwelling. This was also used as a place of worship for Methodists, a 
sect at that time few in number here. Twenty-five or thirty frame and 
log-houses composed the village. A few years later, the brick house on 
the corner of Main and Second, occupied by O. P. Cobb, as a dwelling, 
was built by Aaron Foulk, in the east part of which he resided, in the 
west he opened a diy goods store. This house was considered a vast im- 
provement to the town, and was universally styled the 'big brick.' 
Above the door of the store-room was posted a sign of dark green ground 
with bright yellow letters which read 'A. Foulks' New Store,' much to 
the delight of the good people of the neighborhood. In 1835, where 


our office now stands, there stood a frame house, occupied by Daniel 
Bartholomew, Esq. (deceased), as a drug and dry goods store. The Squire 
was one of the oldest inhabitants, and filled the various posts of mer- 
chant, magistrate and doctor — there being no regular physician in the 
village. His store-house was destroyed by fire. The day it was burned 
we were in school taught by one Gauf Wilson (who will be remembered 
by all wbo were so unlucky as to have been his pupils, for his peculiar 
propensity for applying the birchen rod). A fire those days in town was 
a remarkable event, and the school was dismissed and teacher and 
scholars hastened, en masse, to the scene of disaster, where all the vil- 
lagers old and young, male and female, had assembled to render their 
aid to the sufferer. 

"At that time there were few steamers plying upon our beautiful Ohio. 
Some of them were hard -looking crafts, compared with the splendid boats 
of the present day. When a passenger wished to take passage, if in the 
night, the boat was brought to shore by the discharge of a rifle or other 
small gun. Freights and passage were dear, and many of the people of 
the village and neighborhood preferred traveling on the old 'Fearnot,' a 
keel-boat, greatly celebrated as a fast traveler, making one trip every two 
weeks to Cincinnati, freighted, generally, with barrels, hoop-poles and 
staves; and, returning, brought goods of all kinds for our small shop- 
keepers and the neighboring villages. This unparalleled speed was 
eclipsed, however, by a smaller keel-boat, under the command of a gentle- 
man who was determined to outdo time itself, and a brag trip to Cincin- 
nati (including the taking in and discharging of the freight) was conse- 
quently made in eight days. Thereafter, when this swift craft came in 
sight of our port, and blew her famous boat-horn, the villagers assembled 
on the river bank to greet her and hear the latest news. 

"The year 1836, almost seventeen years since, was a great era in the his- 
tory of Aurora— a printing office was established in the town. It was 
called the Indiana Signal, and was owned by George W. Lane, and 
several others, and edited by S. C. Hastings, now a supreme judge in 
California. The Signal was devoted to the election of Martin Van Buren 
to the presidency. John K. Wilcox,^who yet resides here, had the control 
of the mechanical department; in that office, and under his direction, we 
set our first type. William Webber, was also an apprentice in the office, 
and many a boyish fracas had we there together. The office was in the 
upper story of the house now occupied by Judge Kumel as a tavern, on 
Main Street, near the creek. But the 6'i^na/ was short lived: it rendered 
all its strength to Van Buren's election, for which purpose it was estab- 
lished, and shortly after that event, its Democratic fires ceased to burn. 
A paper printed with the same type and press, called the Dearborn Dem- 


ocrat, was started shortly after the decease of the Signal, by one J. C. 
Whitilsey, but died in a very short time, for lack of support. In the 
latter part of 1838, or early in 1839, a newspaper, entitled The Dear- 
born County Democrat, was started in town, in the room we now occupy, 
by Alexander E. Glenn. The paper was Democratic, and advocated, in 
1840, the re-election of Van Buren. The election of Gen. Harrison was 
too much for Mr. Glenn, and his paper shortly after that event went by 
the board. 

"At this period the census of the United States was taken, and Au- 
rora was found to contain only 490 inhabitants! And not till about 1844 
did the place give evidence of ever being anything more than a small 
village. But the country for many miles around the town, being exceed- 
ingly rich and productive, whose trade, if proper inducements were held 
out could be secured, and the locality of the place being one of the best 
on the Ohio, possessing the finest harbor and landing on the river for 
the largest class of boats in the lowest stage of water, were advantages 
no longer to be overlooked. Strangers commenced coming in, build- 
ing and locating. Business and dwelling houses were in demand; prop- 
erty increased in Value. The old citizens holding property, put up sub- 
stantial houses. Real estate was in constant demand. Men of capital 
were attracted to the town; and soon Aurora contained a number of val- 
uable houses. From year to year the place continued to prosper. Now, 
in the year 1852, Aurora numbers over 3,000 inhabitants, supports two 
newspapers, and contains some of the most elegant and costly houses in 
the State — several of them erected at an expense of $9,000, $14,000 
and $15,000 each. 

Several hundred flat-boats, freighted with produce, every season leave 
our port for Southern markets. A superior steamer plys as a regular 
daily packet between this place and Cincinnati. A considerable busi- 
ness is also picked up here by the mail and Madison boats. No steamer 
fails to land at our wharves as she passes. In our midst, and around 
us, are signs of active business. Our landings are crowded with freight, 
our streets filled with wagons from the country,our mechanics busy 
in their shops, our merchants engaged at their counters — all denoting a 
flourishing little city and prosperous community. What a change in a 
few years! At this point the great Ohio & Mississippi Railroad first 
strikes the Ohio River; the machine shops for which, are to be located 
near the west part of the city. These shops will occupy twenty acres, 
including the dwellings of the workmen, and will bring to our place, it 
is estimated, 400 families." 


Daniel Bartholomew was the first magistrate of Aurora. He was 


elected justice of the peace in the year 1822, and from a docket left by 
him it would appear that he served in that capacity for about eleven 
years. In this ancient record, which is yet in the possession of Richard 
Hubbartt, Esq., of Aurora, the earliest entry was made January 9, 1822, 
in a case entitled "Ebenezer Lange vs. Noah and James Lambert." 
It was a plea of debt to recover $10. On that date the plaintiff ap- 
peared and withdrew the suit, when the case was dismissed by the justice. 
The last record bears date of July 6, 1832, showing that Squire Bartholo- 
mew's term of office was somewhat extended. 

Daniel Bartholomew came to Aurora in 1819 or 1820, from Vermont. 
During a freshet in the river he landed his family at the mouth of Hogan 
Creek, in a small boat, in which they had probably floated from Pitts- 
burgh. His family consisted of a wife and two daughters. One of the 
daughters afterward became the wife of George W. Cochxan, a man 
well known by the older citizens of Aurora and prominently connected 
with the early history of the town. "When the water fell Bartholomew 
allowed his boat to "beach," and continued to live in it for about one 
year. He then built a small house on the bank of the river a short dis- 
tance below where the Eagle House stands. In this house he lived with 
his family and kept a small store. After he was elected justice of the peace, 
he also used it as an office. Aurora was then in embryo. The building 
now occupied as a residence by Mr. Ira Hill, corner of Second and Front 
Streets, and the one built by Bartholomew, were the only houses on the 
bank of the river. Charles Vattier, the original land owner, was pro- 
prietor of a ferry to convey persons across the river. The ferry consisted 
of a small flat and a large canoe. Elijah Horsley was employed by 
Yattier to manage it. Hogan Creek was crossed by the same means, no 
bridge having been built until fifteen years later, when Mr. George W. 
Lane, as an individual enterprise, constructed a toll bridge across the 
mouth of the creek. His bridge was of great importance to the young 
town. Mr. Lane afterward sold it out to Dearborn County, and when 
the old structure became insecure the present bridge was erected. 

Going back to Squire Bartholomew's docket, a brief review of its 
contents may be of interest, as showing how and to whom justice was ad- 
ministered in Aurora fifty years ago. The following record appears on 
page 4, and is among the first cases entered: "State of Indiana vs. 
John Hiffi In a charge of abuse and insult to the wife of Ebenezer 
Lange; warrant issued February 18, 1822; the defendant came and the 
jury summoned, empaneled and sworn. After a proper and full in- 
vestigation of all things ajDpertaining to the charge, the jury retired, 
and soon agreed upon a verdict of eight dollars fine for the State of 
Indiana. Daniel Baetholomew, J, P." 


On the 20th day of March, 1822, for breach of peace and swearing, 
Thomas Longley was fined 95 cents; same date, for "abuse and 
threatening to his wife, who prayed surety of the peace," Thomas Daily was 
found guilty and committed to jail. May 31, 1822, Axey Wilson was 
tried by a jury for an assault upon a child. He was adjudged guilty and 
fined 1 cent, to be applied to the State of Indiana. Samuel Roof ap- 
pears on the 22d of July, 1822, and acknowledges himself indebted to 
Henry Benson in the sum of 50 cents, together with interest thereon 
nntil paid. On the 2l8t of August an execution was issued, by order of 
the plaintiflf, and in default of payment the body of defendant was com- 
mitted to jail ; Samuel Doolittle, constable. State of Indiana vs. Amasa 
Ball. This was an action of assault and battery on the body of George 
W. Thornton ; warrant issued September 2, 1822 ; returned the same 
day with the body present. The jury was unable to agree. To quote, 
from the docket, " The foreman retired and the balance was discharged, 
and the defendant made his escape into Kentucky to those people whose 
countenance favored his character." George W. Thornton then comes 
forward as the defendant in an assault and battery case, but no witnesses 
being presented against him he was discharged. " State of Indiana vs. 
Samuel Eoof. The defendant was legally summoned and empaneled as 
a juror November 2, 1822, when he retired from the room after the case 
was submitted to the jury, and was absent some time; after which, with- 
out permission, he went home and returned not again. It is therefore 
considered that the State of Indiana recover of the defendant the sum 
of $2, this the 2d day of November, 1822. 

Daniel Bartholomew, J. P." 
On the 1st day of October, 1822, James Green brought suit against 
Torrence Curry to recover 37| cents. On the same day the 
claim was paid, and Green's receipt appears on the docket. 
Isaac Cannon vs. Jehial Buffington. An action for neglect of duty as 
constable. No cause. Case dismissed at plaintiff's cost. Ebenezer 
Grifiing for "contempt and abuse and trespassing on the rules of com- 
mon decency and good order" was fined $1, November 10, 1822. 
November 4, 1822, it required three juries to find John W. Ledbitter 
guilty of assault and battery. Ledbitter was fined |5, and sat- 
isfied the Court by note on the agent of.^ "Aurora Association." 

Elias Conwell and Horace Bassett were prominent and influential men 
in the days of which we write. Both were leading spirits in the or- 
ganization and building up of the town. But they had their little 
personal misunderstanding, as appears by the record of February 24, 
1823. On that day Conwell committed an assault and battery on the 
person of Bassett. and was arraigned for trial by jury. He was found 


guilty and fined $2 and costs. Elijah Wbitten, in an action "for 
profane swearing for seven different oaths, taken before me on the 
6th day of March, 1824, at Aurora, for which the said Whitten was fined 
one dollar for each oath." On the 7th of June, 1824, Michael Trester 
brought suit against Isaac Miller on account of the freight on one barrel 
of salt from Cincinnati to Aurora. Execution issued and placed in 
hands of Robert Criswell, constable. Edmund Cheesman for an assault 
upon Caleb Woods-worth, constable, while in the performance'of his duty 
as constable, was adjudged guilty, and for want of bail committed. 

In a suit for forcible entry and detainer, between Luke Erill, plain- 
tiff, and Elias Conwell, defendant, March 19, 1825, wherein it was 
alleged that Conwell took unlawful possession of abiailding belonging to 
Erill, and in which considerable public interest was probably manifested, 
the "Court adjourned to the meeting house." The following named 
persons comprised the ^jury: David Boardman, John B. Chisman, 
Noyes Canfield, Peter Carbaugh, John Vinson, Walter Kerr, William 
Hancock, Jonathan Parks, David Walser, Conrad Huffman, Asa Shattuck 
and Stephen J. Paine. Verdict for plaintiff. Thomas Sparks, for 
swearing in open court, August 23, 1825. was fined $1. "The defendant 
left the State and died," says the record, "but did not satisfy the 
judgment." For assault and battery, April 29, 1826, John Brown was 
fined $3. His fine was not paid, and Robert Criswell, constable, was 
directed by the court to convey the defendant to the county jail for im- 
prisonment. John Lasine for an assault upon his wife, Sunday, 
October 7, 1827, was arrested on complaint of J. Wing, and brought 
before the court in a state of intoxication. When sober he was 
fined $1. 

Charles Vattier, the land owner and enterprising business man, found 
time, it would seem, to occasionally partake of the pleasures and pas- 
times of social life, as witness this: On the 8th of December, 1830, he 
was arraigned for assault and battery on the body of Peleg Bartlett, and 
fined $3 and costs. 


The city government commenced'in 1848, with John D. Haynes as 
mayor. He was succeeded in 1851 by Solomon P. Tumy, who officiated 
until 1859, with the exception of 1856, during which year Washington 
Stark occupied the chair. John Gaff was elected in 1859, Frederick 
Slater in 1861, Dr. George Sutton, 1863; R. Criswell, 1867; Frederick 
Huckery, 1869; J. A. Emerie, 1871; Dr. Frederick Rectanus, 1873; 
Edward H. Green, 1877, and Louis E. Beinkamp, the present incumbent, 
was first elected in 1881, having since administered the affairs of the 
office with commendable zeal. 



In the fall of 1852 a company was formed under the name of ' ' The 
Eising Snn, Aurora & Lawrenceburgh Telegraph Company" for the 
purpose of running the wires from the Lawi-enceburgh office to Aurora 
and Rising Sun, establishing an office at each place. The office at Aurora 
was located at the grocery^of | W. Webber & Co., on Third Street with 
William Webber in charge. 

In 1854 a new line of telegraph (the Wade patent) was built through 
Aurora to run with the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad to St. Louis. 

In the spring of 1879, the office of T. & J. W. Gaff & Co., of Aurora 
and that of H. W. Smith & Co., of Cincinnati were connected by tele- 
phone, messages being sent and received over the line on Friday, March 
14, 1870. 

THE CITY, 1858-59. 

From a business standpoint, Aurora made the following exhibit in 
1858-59, as shown by a State compilation published at that time: 

Allen, W., carpenter. 

Allen, E. B., blacksmith. 

Andrews, A., grocer. 

Beettner, H., barber. 

Beerger, W., gunsmith. 

Bess, F. M. , proprietor hotel. 

Bloom, A., merchant tailor. 

Bond, R. C, physician and surgeon./ 

Burns, F. A., boot and shoe-maker. 

Bush, B. M., agent Adams Express. 

Campbell & York, saddlers. 

Carbough, J. H., attorney. 

Chambers, Stevens & Co., dry goods, groceries, etc. 

Cheek, George, dealer in bay. 

Clark, Mrs. A. P., postmistress. 

Cobb, John, coal dealer. 

Cobb, O. P. & Co., pork packers, grocers, etc. 

Cooper, C. H, «fe A. J., jewelers. 

Crane, A. G. & Co. , manufacturers of bai'rels. 

Cunningham, William, dealer in liquors. 

Devons, J., woolen factory. 

Dines, G., barber. 

Dyke, N. tin-smith. 

Ebersale & Haines, druggists. 

Ebersale — physician and surgeon. ' 

Edwards, W. J. & Co., carriagfe- makers. 


Fehling, C, grocer. 

Fisher, P., boot and shoe-maker. 

Gaff, T. & J. \V., millers, distillers, dry goods, groceries, etc. 

Garmhausen, B., grocer. 

Giedgold, J., meat market. 

Giedgold, J. L. & M., livery stable. 

Goldsmith, M., boots, shoes, etc. 

Green, Ed H. , attorney, 

Hamilton, J., hotel. 

Harris, W. T., justice of the peace. 

Hauck, L., barber. 

Held, P. H., merchant tailor. 

Hettenbergh, S., exchange. 

Hill, S. P. & Co., druggists. 

Holman & Haynes, attorneys 

Holz, Dr., physician & surgeon. 

Hubbartt, R., grocer. 

Hubbartt, A. B., carpenter. 

Huckery, F. , justice of the peace. 

Hurlbert, L. G., lumber dealer and mill factory. 

Ittner, J., boot and shoe-maker. 

Kasner, P., bakery. 

Kelsey, J. A. & Co., wharf -boat. 

Kemp, M., grocer, baker and liquor dealer. 

Kreitlein, A., grocer. 

Lamkin, H., tailor. 

Johnson, A., baker. 

Laupus, J. G., tobacconist. 

Lansberry, A. B., wagon-maker. 

Latimore, T., carpenter. 

Lozier, Abram, dry goods and groceries. 

McCreary, R. E., dry goods and groceries! 

McHenry, B. N., blacksmith. 

Malony, J., grocer. 

Marron, H., furniture. 

Mayer, Cohn & Co., clothiers. 

Milburo, J. N., jewelry and book store. 

Miles, I., attorney. 

Parker, S. , fruit and vegetables. 

Phalin, I., grocer. 

Pierce, S. R., dry goods and groceries. 

Pyle, J., ambrotypist. 


Radspiner, J. F., grocer. 

Rider, J., boot and shoe-maker. 

Rothirt, F., grocer. 

Sadlei', Mrs. C. , milliner. 

Schultze, A., hotel. 

Sherrod, W., barber. 

Sherwood, Mrs. Mary., milliner. 

Shipper, B., coal dealer. 

Siemontel, M., bakery and confectionery. 

Siemontel, brewery. 

Siemontel, M. & C, millers. 

Slater, F., grocer. 

Small, E., dealer in hay. 

Squibb, W. P. & Co., dealers in liquors and groceries. 

Stafford, J., grocer. 

Stark, Mrs. M., milliner. 
/Stedman & Co., foundry. 

Stevens, J., blacksmith. 

Stevens, W. F., insurance. 

Stratter, L. S., dry goods. 

Taylor, G. W., livery stable. 

Terrill, R. Q., attorney. 

Tuck, N. H., ambrotypist. 

Tumy, S. P., mayor and dealer in stoves and tinware. 

Twyman, B. W., attorney. 

Veiht, F. L., physician and surgeon. 

Weaver, J. W., commission merchant. 

Wehe, A., saddler. 

Wilke, J. H., grocer. 

Worth, F. D., hotel. 
^Wymond & Gibson, coopers. 

Young & Miller, boots and shoes. 


Important eras in the city's history may be said to have commenced, 
first, with the construction of the bridge across the mouth of Hogan 
Creek by George W. Lane in 1836; at which time another was built 
west of the city, the completion of which was of the first importance to 
the place. That summer a number of young men of energy settled in 
Aurora, who assisted in different ways in diffusing life and energy to the 
old inhabitants of the town. L. G. Hurlbert as a merchant; Dr. George 
Sutton as a physician; L. C. Hastings as editor of the Indiana Signal; 


A. C. Cole, a young lawyer, who died at an early age; Charles and 
Thomas Folbre, George W. Cochran, Isaac Hancock, all young men of 
energy and also extensive river traders. About this time Thomas Folbre 
commenced the erection of a large brick building, which stands on 
Second Street, at that time the largest and finest building in the town. 
Second, with the establishment of the distillery and mills of Thomas 
and J. W. Gaff in 1843. Third, with the completion of the Ohio & Mis- 
sissippi Railroad, to the town in 1854, the location here of the extensive 
car shops of that road and the construction of the turnpikes about that 
time. Fourth, with the location of the Great Crescent Brewery in 1873, 
and the establishing of the mammoth industry the rolling-mill, by 
the Aurora Iron Company in 1873, which finally became the nail and 
iron works of O. P. Cobb & Co. 

The census of 1840 gave Aurora a population of 490; of 1850, 2,051; 
of 1860, 2,990; of 1870, 3,304; of 1880, 4,435. 

The post office was established in Aurora in 1819. 

The printing press was introduced into the village in 1836. 

The first steamboat was built at and launched from Aurora in 1824. 

The electro-magnetic telegraph was put in operation in 1852. 

The railroad was completed to the city in 1854. 

Street lamps were introduced into the city in 1861 and a portion of 
the streets were then lighted. 

The streets were lighted by gas in 1874. 

A steam fire engine was brought to the city in 1876. 

The city was connected by telephone with Cincinnati in 1879. 

In the Western Republican of October 5, 1847, it was stated that 
"Notwithstanding high water and hard times, our city marches straight 
onward. The cause is obvious. Capital, enterprise and industry are a 
part of the secret of its success — these combined must overcome every 
obstacle. A friend has taken the pains to give us the number of houses 
which have been built since the first of March, and under contract to be 
completed this season, to-wit: brick, 18; frame 60; additions, 12; total, 

The total number of buildings erected in Aurora in 1850 was 123; 
100 of which were dwellings, 2 churches, 1 mill and distillery, 10 ware- 
houses, 2 livery stables, 4 blacksmith shops and 4 cooper shops, costing 

Below is given the names of such builders of houses wherein the cost 
of the building amounts to $1,000. 


Henry Walker : . |13,000 

T. & J. W. Gaff(raill and distillery) 30,000 

Joseph W. Gaflf g'ooo 

Presbyterian Church 8 000 

Dr. Sutton 5^000 

J. & 0. P. Cobb (store room and pork house) 5 000 

P- B. Vail 3;000 

Levi Stevens 3 000 

John Shattuck 2 000 

Henry Blasdell 2 000 

B- M. Bush ;.";; 1^300 

Bierman 1000 

Samuel Lewis 1 000 

' 'About 1850, Aurora had grown up to the business increase caused 
by distilling, milling, etc. Next came the railroad, the shops were 
established close by, and another rapid growth followed. Again 
aboat five years ago we had caught up in population with our business, 
and a temporary stoppage ensued. Lately added a brewery, a furniture 
factory, a chair factory, and an immense rolling-mill to our industries." 
— Dearborn Independent, 1873. 

In November of the following year, the same paper said, "Improve- 
ment on every hand is going on, our streets are being improved, busi- 
ness houses are being erected, dwellings are fairly springing up, and 
new branches of business are opening up constantly. Our population is 
increasing, rapidly, business men, professional men and capitalists are 
locating here, and Aurora is becoming noted for her business energy and 

A writer for one of the city papers in 1879, speaking of forty years 
ago, said, ' 'Then what is now the heart of the city, was a common, multis 
generous of ravines, mud holes, jimson and dog-fennel patches. The 
Third Ward of Sunnyside and West Side, were either cornfields or heavy 
forests, while our lively suburb, Cochran, was the elegant hay farm of 
the gentleman after whom it is named. The roads leading to the interior 
were of such a character that the best one ascended the hills at such a 
grade as to require a good team and light wagon to haul a barrel of salt, 
or whisky and keg of dog- leg tobacco to Wilmington, then the county 
seat, and seat of learning of Dearborn and Ohio Counties; but now only 
the decayed remains of its former self. Whilst the roads leading both 
up and down the river were in such a condition, without bridges, and 
the streams ferried in such a manner that no prudent life insurance com- 
pany could afi"ord to take risks on persons who traveled them. Ten 
years later we find Aiirora incorporated and improving her streets, which 
together with the liberal use of her influence and means in relocating, 


grading aud mettling all her roads, inlets and outlets, soon marked 
a progress that has continued until Aurora, solid Aurora has expand- 
ed clear across the valley and above the confluence of the two Hogans, 
and is rapidly climbing the surrounding hills, which aflford the most 
delightful views to be found in the Ohio Valley." 

Concerning the city's improvements we quote from the Independent 
of January 10, 1878: "Our city has come out wonderfully in the last 
seven months, as the following summary will show: Beginning on Fifth 
Street, we have J. J. Metcalfe, a fine two-story dwelling; Crescent Brew- 
ery, two-story bottling establishment. On Fourth Street, John Stark, 
dwelling; James R. Hayes, two-story dwelling; H. J. Marshall, renova- 
tion of house; Prof. Tufts and Charles Stevens, each a two- story dwell- 
ing. Third Street, Episcopal Church and Nees' new hotel. Second 
Street, Johnson's two-story brick business house. Bridgway Street, 
Martin Scheuerman, two-story brick dwelling; Romstein, one-story busi- 
ness house. Mechanic Street, Al Bloom, dwelling; Main Street, Small's 
and Wilke's buildings, both large, two-story business houses. On Judi- 
ciary, the complete overhauling and repairing of the old Weaver and 
Groves property; also dwellings of P. Garrity, destroyed by fire, and 
York's large livery stable. In the Third Ward the building has 
been confined exclusively to dwellings, as follows: Johnson Street, John 
Twentyman, E. Cole and Pardee Bench; Broadway, Charles Glass and 
P. Garrity; Moore Street, Dent Wymond; Manchester Street, W. H. 
Cobb; Sunnyside, E. D. Haynes, B. F. Trester, Jr., Thomas Tan- 
ner; Eastside, William Block; in Westside, Frank Briddell, Charles 
Shepard, Rev. I. B. Grundy, John Gifiin and George Lamb have 
erected handsome dwellings. Never, perhaps, in the history of the city, 
has so much building been done in so short a time. Next season many 
more buildings will go up. The foundation for the Nutshell & Cunning- 
ham , and the Mabin Brothers' buildings, on Second Street, have been 
laid, and the erection of large business houses thereon, will begin early 
in the spring. We venture the assertion that no town of its size in this 
part of the country has made the advancement that our city has during 
the past year." 

FIRE OF 1882. 

September 4. 1882, occurred the greatest fire at Aurora, that the city 
ever experienced, by which was consumed nearly a whole block of build- 
ings. The fire originated in the chair factory of John Cobb & Co., on 
Bridgeway Street, nearly opposite the Indiana House. The wind was 
blowing a sweeping gale from the burning building right into the heart 
of the city, and most of the surrounding buildings were wooden struct- 
ures. The tire extended in every direction, except to the north. The 


Indiana House burned, everything east of it on Fourth Street, John 
Siemantel's buildings on Third Street, also Adolph Mann's saloon, and 
ail the out-houses between Third and Fourth Streets, and the first alley 
east of Bridgeway, burned. On the west side of Bridgeway Street the chair 
factory, engine-house, dry house and ware-house, a carpenter shop and brick 
dwelling, and all buildings there between Third and Fourth and First, 
were burned. Seventy-five thousand dollars worth of property, covering 
a whole square, was nearly wiped out. The steam fire engine from the 
Walsh & Kellogg Distillery, of Luwrenceburgh, was sent down, and one 
telegraphed for from Cincinnati, but did not come,a8 the fire was got under 
control. The principal losses were as follows: John Cobb & Co., 
$30,000, insurance to the amount of $8,000; Mrs. Brewington, $5.000, no 
insurance; John H. Siemantel, $7,000, insurance $3,000; Adolph Stamm, 
$6,000, insurance $3,000; M. Giegoldt, $15,000, insurance $6,000. 

FLOODS— 1882— 1883— 1884. 

During the great floods in the Ohio River, occurring in February, 
1882. 1883 and 1884, Aurora shared the same fate as did her sister 
Ohio River cities that were so unfortunate as not to have been built on 

The following extracts are taken from one of the city papers of those 
years, as showing the rise, progress and receding of the waters, and 
the general aspect of things: On Tuesday morning the weather was 
quite cold and snow fell in fitful gusts, yet the rise continued slowly but 
surely. The water flooded Main Street from the bridge half way to 
Second Street, and from the foot of Second Street to Chambers & 
Stevens' corner. The people living on these streets were forced to move 
into the upper stories of their houses. On third Street the water came 
half way up to Main, on Fourth Street nearly to Judiciary, while it 
reached Peter Koehler's corner at the foot of Fifth Street, shutting off 
communication, except by boats to "Texas." In the afternoon the rise 
was about half an inch per hour. The floor of the Main Street bridge 
was covered before 5 o'clock, and the water worked up in the gutter 
opposite Riddell's drug store, and up on Main to McClellan's blacksmith 
shop. At 8 o'clock Tuesday evening the river came to a stand, the 
Big Miami having subsided, and between 11 and 12 o'clock it began to 
recede, falling by morning about eleven inches, which was a great relief 
to everybody. — Independent, February 23, 1882. 

While only two or three small dwelling houses are turned over at 
this writing (Wednesday evening) nearly half the houses in Aurora have 
water in them, varying in depth from the eave of the roof of those 
houses in the low lands to more than a foot on the floor of Leive Bros 



jewelry store, in the opera bouse building. Hundreds of dwelling 
houses will suffer more or less damages, and will require thorough reno- 
vating when the water goes down. — Independent, February 15, 1883. 

"As we went to press last week the Ohio River was still rising here 
and, although it was the last day of its climbing up and up to a height 
beyond man's memory, the strangest thing was that on that last day, 
Wednesday, February 14, 1883. it rose at a rate equal to any day after 
it had overflown its banks. The water continued to rise during all of 
Wednesday and until 6 o'clock Thursday the loth inst., at which time it 
came to a stand at a point thirty-three and one half inches above the 
mark of the famous flood of 1832." 

The height of the water here as given in last week's Independent 
was good enough when it was written but was considerably surpassed 
before that issue of the paper was ^read. Last Thursday morning the 
climax was reached. The Ohio Kiver was on the floor of our postoflSce; 
it was five feet and eight inches deep in O. P. Cobb & Co.'s store, was 
about two feet deep in the First Baptist Church, lacked only one inch of 
being in Schaeffer's store on Third and Main Streets, was rippling in 
Dr. Bond's house on George Street, was within two and one-half feet 
of the second floor of Gaff's building at the foot of Second Street; finally 
was two feet nine and one-half inches higher than anybody ever saw it 
in Aurora and we have plenty of the proverbial "oldest inhabitants" too. 
The water came to a stand at 6 A. M. Thursday and many a high water 
mark for February 15, 1883, was cut to record the flood height for 
future generations to swim over. A good mark is cut deep in the second 
step adjacent to the First National Bank; another is chiseled in the iron 
column of Mitchell's building opposite the bank and in innumerable places 
all over town the mark of this highest flood of them all is 'chalked 
down.' The water was on a stand for about four hours when it began to 
recede &\ovi\^ .— Independent, February 22, 1883. 

"We started out to get an estimate of individual losses of our citizens 
by the flood, but the work was too great for us. Our citizens, both rich 
and poor alike, have lost heavily, probably, in all, not much less than 
U^O,Om:'— Independent, February 22, 1883. 

"As a result of their precautions, the citizens of Aurora will not 
suffer nearly as much as they did in 1882 or in 1883, and the de- 
struction of property will not be one-third as much as in either of those 
years. W^arning came over the wires: 'Prepare for seventy feet.' 
That would be three feet and six inches more than we had in 1883, and 
the people lost no time in preparing. All the people living in houses 
likely to be submerged moved into their second stories, where they were 
high enough, and where this was not the case they abandoned the houses 


and moved to higher ground. All of our merchants moved their goods 
and perishable property beyond the possible reach of the water, and thus 
saved everything, many of them vsrorking night and day to accomplish 
their object. Of course Cobb's Iron & Nail Company, the Sutton Mill 
Company, Aurora Distilling Company, and the Aurora Valley Furniture 
Company were drowned out and stopped operations, but, aside from loss 
of time, trouble and inconvenience, their losses will not amount to much. 
With the river already bank full (and over its banks in many places), the 
rain commenced Monday night, February 4, and poured down almost in- 
cessantly till Thursday morning, February 7. Tuesday, February 5, the 
water was over the sidewalk from the Eagle Hotel to the Crescent 
Brewery, and in all that portion of town north of Hogan Creek, and be- 
tween George Street and the river. Then the rise was rapid, and the 
water extended up Second Street to Mechanic Street, up Third to Main 
up Mill Street to the office of the Aurora Distilling Company, and up 
Main Street to its intersection with Third. 

"The above part of this article was written Monday morning, when 
we had the faintest hope that there would not be much more to tell, but 
the rains kept coming up till last night, when they finished early in the 
night with a heavy climax, and then the wind changed, and the most 
welcome cold snap that ever visited any community fell upon us and put 
a check to the rain, and gave us hope that the river would not overflow 
the hilltops, at least. But the rainfall had been general through the 
whole valley of the Ohio, and the greatest of all floods was inevitable. 
Up and up and up it climbed, driving people from one refuge to another, 
until 4 o'clock this Thursday afternoon, February 14, 1884, it had 
reached a point six feet above the once legendary flood of 1832. It stood 
at this height for some time, as if meditating whether to burst itself in 
one final effort to do yet greater things, and then it began very slowly to 

"In order that those of our readers who are away from Aurora may 
understand the height of the flood, we will give them a few old land 
marks to go by. The water was just to the top of the door of the old 
yellow brick house on Cobb's corner, which house has stood in all the 
great floods since 1832. It was eight feet and ten inches deep on the 
floor in Cobb's store; it stood in the gutter in front of Dr. Sutton's office, 
on Third Street; it was about eight inches deep on the inside corner of 
the pavement at the Catholic Church, on Fourth Street; it went up Sec- 
ond Street as far as the front door of Tuck's building, at the corner of 
Bridgeway; it backed up Broadway nearly to Hogan Creek, six inches 
more would have sent it through the whole length of Broadway; it stood 
several inches deep in Stedman & Co. 's foundry; it backed up Main 


Street beyond Third, so that by stepping across the pavement from the 
front door of the old Asa Shattuck residence, oner would step into the 
river; it vpas over the door knob of Dr. Bond's /residence, on George 
Street, and was up into the yard at John Cobb's residence; it was in some 
places over the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, between Aurora and Law- 
renceburgh; over the tops of the telegi'aph poles, and was over the roofs of 
freight cars loaded with stone that were placed on the Wilson Creek 
bridge. Those of you who have only seen the high water of 1832 and 
1847, in Aurora, have no idea of what a real high water in the Ohio is. 

"The highest point of the present flood stands within half an inch of 
being six feet above the once famous flood of 1832, and is three feet and 
two inches above the flood of last year." — Independent, February 14, 

"In other words, we don't believe Aurora's loss will foot up more than 
$20,000, unless you count the loss of time to factories being idle; 
and how often are they shut down to reduce stock, or by reason of 
a strike, for a longer period than the flood closed them ? True, Aurora 
has lost more houses than she did last year, and more are off of their 
foundations, but the loss of household goods is not nearly so great this 
year, and the loss of mercantile stock is actually nothing worth nam- 
ing, while last year it was very great, because people would not then 
believe that the flood would surpass every previous one, and did not get 
out of the way. * * * * Taking all things into consideration, we 
cannot help but believe that Aurora has suffered less loss this year than 
she did last, although this flood has been with us, and upon us, more 
than twice as long as that of 1883." — Independent, February 21, 1884. 


Public Schools. — The founders of Aurora in the very beginning made 
provisions for schools, as evidenced in the setting apart of Lots No. 222 
and 288 on the original plat of the village for school purposes. These 
were adjoining lots given for the Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian 
Churches. Lot No. 210 was also set apart for school purposes. In the 
very beginning of the village Mrs. Joanna Fox erected a log-cabin 
on Fifth Street, the site of the William Brewington residence, subse- 
quently this building was vacated by Mrs. Fox, when it was used for 
some years as a schoolhouse, and by all denominations of Christians for 
church purposes. A large and liberal donation was made, including 
"Seminary Square," to found a seminary of learning, and among the first 
educational institutions incorporated in the State was the Aurora Semi- 
nary. In 1826, upon the earnest solicitations of Judge Jesse Holman, the 
Rev. Lucius Alden, a Presbyterian clergyman and a gentleman of high 


scholastic accomplishments, was iDduced to emigrate from Boston 
Mass., and take charge of the institution, at a salary of $300 per year, 
which he successfully conducted for several years. The assistant to 
Prof. Alden was Stephen S. Harding, who received $13 per month for 
his services. Mr. Harding was afterward governor of Utah and judge 
of Colorado. At present he resides in the adjoining county of Ripley. 

For the next twenty years the school of Aurora passed through the 
vicissitudes to which subjected, under the passage of the various 
laws governing educational matters and the times rendered necessary, 
without making much progress. In the winter of 1852-53, Mr. L. A. 
Nine of Cincinnati, delivered a lecture in Aurora on the graded school 
system. He presented the subject in so clear and forcible a manner as 
to convince his hearers that this system was in advance of the old 
method of teaching. Efforts were then made by the citizens of Aurora 
to establish the system in the Aurora schools. The school board was com- 
posed of Dr. A. B. Haines, Thomas Gaff, Dr. Bond, James M. Miller, I. 
H. Carbaugh, R. R. Baker and George W. Lane, which gentlemen em- 
ployed a superintendent, who unfortunately, it afterward was discovered, 
had no practical knowledge of the graded system, and the system not 
proving a success under his management was not continued. Two years 
later (1854) another effort was made with the same view under the fol- 
lowing board of trustees: George Smith, George Sutton, N. R. Sted- 
man, B. M. McHenry and Daniel Armei and the graded system was 
adopted. A Mr. Bronson who had a practical knowledge of the system 
in Kentucky was employed to take charge of the Aurora schools, power 
being given him to select his assistants. The schools were opened and 
grade into the primary, the secondary and the high school departments, 
each grade having a course of study assigned to it, which prepared the 
scholars for the next higher grade, establishing a system of promotion by 
transfer depending upon the industry and advancement of the pupil. 

August 30, 1855 i the following notice appeared in the Aurora Stand- 
ard : 

" The trustees of the school district for the city of Aurora inform the 
public that the graded schools commence their second session Monday, 
September 3, under the superintendence of the same teachers employed 
last session. They earnestly entreat all who feel desirous of sending to 
those schools to commence with the session, so as to enable the teachers 
to ai'range the scholara as soon as possible in their proper classes. As 
there is no public money in the treasury the trustees have put the 
terms of tuition as follows : Primary Department per month, 75 
cents ; Secondary Department, $1.00 ; High School, $1.25. To be paid 
at the expiration of each month to the trustees. Since the last session 


the superintendent has pi'ocured philosophical apparatus, maps, ana- 
tomical plates, which will enable him more closely to illustrate the 
different branches taught in the department. From the success and popu- 
larity of the schools during the past session, we anticipate a continuance 
of public favor, and hope the terms of tuition will be promptly paid at 
the end of each month. 

George Sutton, 
N. R. Stedman 
B. N. McHenry, 
George Smith, 
Daniel Armel, . 

Trustees. ' ' 
Some of the above mentioned trustees were continued in office for a 
long succession of years, becoming closely identified with the develop- 
ment of the excellent schools and splendid school buildings of Aurora. 

From 1859 to 1863, during the progress of the construction of the 
large school building located in the southern part of the city, the city 
was without the benefit of public schools, but her citizens had waited pa - 
tiently until the completion of the house in the fall of 1863, when school 
was opened in it under the superintendence of Rev. A. W. Freeman, a 
Presbyterian clergyman, who in that, or the following year, organized 
the schools as they have, with perhaps little variation been conducted. 
Mr. Freeman, after thoroughly organizing the schools and conducting 
them several years retired, and his successors were Messrs. Davidson, 
Temple and Clark in the order given, the latter remaining as superin- 
tendent for a period of upward of ten years, longer by far than served 
any of his predecessors or successors. Mr. Clark (Ed.) is a man of fine 
attainments and remarkably well adapted for his high calling, and to his 
ability and thoroughness are the people of Aurora largely indebted for 
the high excellence of their public schools. The course of study as laid 
down at the time of which we are writing occupied a period of seven 
years. Until 1870, at the close of each year, there were annual exhibi- 
tions at the school building, or at some public hall, and the pupils who 
had finished the course of study received a certificate to that effect upon 
their leaving the schools. The class of 1868 included two persons, and 
that of 1869 three. In the latter part of June, 1870, occurred the first an- 
nual commencement, which was made an event in the history of the schools. 
The exercises were held in the Methodist Episcopal Church, there being 
present the mayor of the city and the council and a large assembly of 
citizens. The graduating class consisted of eleven persons. The diplo- 
mas were' presented to them by Prof. Clark, and to the classes of 
1868 and 1869 were given diplomas by Rev. A. W. Freeman, then chair- 
man of the school board. 


The growth of the city made it necessary for more commodious 
quarters, or additional accommodations, so in 1880 another large and 
substantial brick schoolhouse was erected in the northern part of the 
city at a cost of $18,000, which was completed and school opened in it 
that fall. Each year has shown a marked increase in the growth and 
prosperity of the schools of Aurora, and it is a great source of pride to 
her citizens to be able to say that no city in the State can boast of better 
schools. The present superintendent and principal of the schools are 
F. D. Churchill and Charles N. Peak, respectively. In addition to the 
superintendent and principal, one gentleman is employed in teaching 
Oerman, ajid fifteen female teachers, the latter receive for their services 
from $40 to $50 per month. School enrollment, 850. 

Catholic Schools. — The St. Mary's congregation numbers some 220 
families and the school is under charge of four Sisters of St. Francis. 
The rooms are on Fourth Street, near their church and are comfortably 
arranged for school purposes. Sister Bonnie, the principal, graduated 
at the public schools, since which she has taken an academic course in 
Baltimore, and is thoroughly competent in algebra, history and philos- 
ophy, as well as the more common branches. The school is under the 
superintendency of Rev. J. J. Schoentrup, who was raised in this 
county, and after leaving the common schools, spent three years at the 
Bardstown, Ky., college, then five years at St. Meinrad's College, of 
Spencer County, Ind., after which he completed his course at the 
St. Joseph's''Theological Seminary at Indianapolis. After leaving col- 
lege Father Schoentrup was in charge of a parish at Mt. Vernon, Posey 
County, this State, for six years, when he was called to accept the 
spiritual supervision of the St. Mary's congregation in this city. School 
enrollment, 176. 

German {Lutheran) School. — This school is patronized by about 100 
families, the enrollment at present consisting of about eighty scholars. 
It includes in its curriculum, German and the common branches. Until 
December last it was under the personal charge of Mr. August Maletzky, \^ 
who was at that date prostrated with a serious illness resulting in his 
death the following February. The congregation have called and ex- 
pecst to secure a competent teacher for the fall opening. Since the death 
of Mr. Maletzky, Rev. Henkel has officiated as tutor, but as his ordinary 
labors as pastor of the church and superintendent of secular schools, are 
sufficiently arduous as to require his whole attention, the ari'angement 
will be at once made to secure the services of another teacher. 


Prior to 1876 the citizens of Aurora protected property from fire as 


best they could without the aid of a lire engine, the old bucket line 
system continuing in vogue. In the year above named the city author- 
ities purchased a steam fire engine of Messrs. Ahrens & Co., of Cincin- 
nati and a fix'st-class fire company was organized. September 8, 1876, 
this engine was tested in the afternoon at the fair grounds, the fire was 
lighted and in three minutes and forty-two seconds from the time the 
test was applied the engine was throwing water from the hose. In a 
minute after water was being thrown over 200 feet high. Two line of 
hose were attached to the engine and it threw two steady streams at an 
estimated height of nearly 200 feet. In the evening the fire company 
took the engine over to the city to give it another test and get practice 
in handling the machine and managing the hose. Steam was raised 
quicker than at the fair ground and through 200 feet of hose water was 
thrown to a distance of 258 feet. The company consists of a member- 
ship of about fifty volunteers, officered at present by Capt. Mort Steele 
and Lieut. W. W. Brison, and is well equipped and supplied with all 
necessary accompaniments. 


The Baptist Church. — Saturday, Feburary 26, 1820, a council of elders 
and brethren convened at Aurora for the purpose of consulting as to the 
propriety of constituting a Baptist Church at that place. The council 
was organized by choosing Elder A. Graves as moderator, and Jesse L. 
Holman, clerk. The following brethren and sisters were constituted a 
church of Jesus Christ, by the name of the church at Aurora, to wit: 
Timothy Brown, William Hancock, Jesse L. Holman, Sophia Brown, 
Lydia St. Johns and Sallie Brown. The first services were held in a 
log-house located on the lot where William Brewington now resides, on 
Fifth Street. It was built originally for a private residence, by Mrs. 
Joanna Fox, but was afterward used as a schoolhouse, and by all denom- 
inations of Christians for church purposes, as occasion might require. 
Somewhere between the years 1825 and 1828 the Baptists built a meeting 
house on their lot, one lot east of the present site of the old house, and 
was the first meeting house built in the town. It was a brick structure, 
the bricks of which were made on the lot where now stands Hurlber.t's 
machine shop. It was surmounted by a small belfry, and for a time the 
people were summoned to church by a triangle. Afterward this was 
supplanted by a bell, which is the present ferry bell on this side of the 
river. Some of the seats which were in the old^ meeting house are now 
in use in Council Hall. This old building has some special reminiscences 
connected with it, one of which is that the world-renowned Lorenzo Dow 
once preached in it; and, second, that the first session of the first United 


States Bankrupt Court was held within its walls, pi'esided over by Jesse 
L. Holman. The reason for this court being held here was owing to the 
fact that Judge Holman was sick, and unable to go to the capital of the 
State to transact the business absolutely necessary to be done. The 
church worshiped in this house until,1848. Elder James Dickens, of the 
Bullettsburgh, Ky. church, became the iirst pastor, and under his min- 
istry the church entered upon its career of usefulness and prosperity. 
Frequent accessions were had by letter up to October, when the first 
convert was baptized. At the close of the year the church numbered 
seventeen members. Elder Dickens served the church until 1824, when, 
having declined further services, Elder Samuel Harris was called to the 
pastorate, and served the church, excepting at short intervals, until 1832. 
During his ministry, members were received at almost every meeting. 
He died of cholera while on a visit to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1832. Elder 
Thomas Curtis, a minister of great usefulness, and beloved by all the 
churches, was chosen as the next pastor. He served the church for two 
years, during which time great prosperity and pleasure attended his 
labors. Elder Curtis, on account of other engagements, much to the 
regret and sorrow of the brethren, relinquished the charge in 1834, 
when the church voted unanimously to invite a council to consider the 
propriety of setting apart to the ministry Jesse L. Holman. The 
council met July 12, 1834, the following being the officiating ministers: 
Elders William Morgan, William Bruce, Thomas Curtis, Robert Kirtley, 
Ezra Ferris and Daniel Palmer. Brother Holman was, according to the 
desire of the church, solemnly set apart to the work of a minister of 
Jesus Christ. As pastor of the church Brother Holman more than met 
the expectations of his brethren, and received large accessions to the 
church. Brother William Johnson was Brother Holman' s successor; he 
also enjoyed the confidence and esteem of the brethren, and during his 
pastorate the church was largely blessed by the presence and power of 
the Holy Sj)irit, and large numbers were added to its membership. Dur- 
ing the year 1845 the church was supplied with preaching by Elders Roe 
and E. P. Bond. June 13, 1846, Elder Hamilton Robb was called to the 
pastorate. He was very popular as a preacher, and his ministry was 
attended by large congregations. Brother Robb served the church until 
February, 1849, when he resigned. Elder Jeremiah Cell succeeded Elder 
Robb as pastor, and served the church for one year with great acceptance. 
After which Brother R.C. Bond was called into the ministry and ordained, 
April 14, 1850. Elder William Leet was next called as pastor of the 
church, and remained as such for one year. Elder Leet resigned in 
1852, and was succeeded by Elder E. P. Bond, who continued as pastor 
for four years. He was succeeded by Elder R. C. Bond, who served the 


churcla for two years with great acceptance, and during his pastorate re- 
ceived into the church some forty-five members, which greatly strength- 
ened it. In 1859 Elder R. C. Bond declined further service, and was 
succeeded by Elder J. H. Smith, who served the church for one year. 
Elder Edward Jones was the'next pastor, serving the church little more 
than one year, when he resigned, and the church solicited Elder Jeremiah 
Cell to become their pastor, which he did and served for two years. 
After Brother Cell left, the church maintained public worship every Sab- 
bath for over six months, calling in such ministerial aid as could be pro- 
cured. June 1, 1866, Elder Charles Ager, of South Bend, accepted the 
pastoral charge, whose labors were blessed to the good of the church 
and the conversion of souls. His successful labors with and for the 
church were dissolved early in 1879, and Elder C. C. Davidson succeeded 
him in February 1879, who labored zealously in the building up of Zion 
until October 1, 1884, after which, for a short season, the church was 
without a pastor, but on December 1, 1884, Rev. Francis M. Huckle- 
bery accepted a call, and became the pastor. He is highly esteemed by 
his brethren and the community in general, and is a bright and shining 
light in the vineyard. Such, in brief, is the history of the Baptist Church 
at Aurora. Space forbids the notice of many of the brethren, who in 
their sphere of duty performed services in the cause of Christ, which 
will give them a place for all time to come in the record of the good and 
the true. Such were Aaron Foulk, Alexander Steele, Newton M. Rags- 
dale, John N. Cochran. Robert K. Baker. Peter B.Vail, John Briddell 
and others of equally precious memory. Likewise the sisterhood of the 
church have contributed their full share toward its prosperity. The 
records of no church can present a more faithful, pious and earnest 
band of Christian women than the Aurora Church has ever been blessed 
with, and, when the final account shall be made up, we expect to see them 
wear their crowns of rejoicing in glory. Throughout the history of 
this church it has ever taken a lively interest, and contributed liberally 
toward missionary and benevolent enterprises. It has always faith- 
fully maintained the purity of the gospel of Christ, and never in any 
instance faltered in its fidelity to truth. The church has also, from the 
year 1824, maintained the cause of Sabbath-school instruction, and has 
always had in successful operation an interesting school. The average 
attendance of present school is 230, the officers of which are William S. 
Holman, Jr., superintendent; James R. Vail, assistant; Miss Margaret 
Kaster, secretary; Miss Flora Siementel, treasurer. Present church 
officials, Rev. Francis M. Hucklebery, pastor; William Webber. George 
C. Dale, A. B. Lansberry, deacons; James R. Vail, clerk; William V. 
Webber, treasuer; William Webber, L. M. Foulk, George C. Dale, trus- 
tees. Present membership is 350. 


In 1848 the Fifth Street meeting-house was built. The bell hung in 
the new church building was purchased by the citizens, exclusive of all 
church members. The bell weighs 1,800 pounds, and on the evening of 
the day on which it was hung, a feast was made in honor of the donors. 
This was in the year 1852. The building at present owned by the Bap- 
tists of Aurora, and in which they now worship, is one of the finest church 
edifices in southern Indiana. It is a brick structure, 48x95 feet, of 
handsome architecture, finished in 1875 at a cost of upward of $20,000. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Awrora.— Daniel Bartholomew 
and wife, Olivia B., floated down the Ohio River from Cincinnati to 
Aurora on a flat-boat in the spring of 1816, and settled on the bank of the 
Ohio, near where Mrs. Hill's house stands. They lived in their boat till 
a log-house was built for them; it consisted of two rooms, one of which 
was their store-room. In the other they lived, and there William Lamb- 
den preached the first sermon on the site of Aurora, and organized the 
first class, consisting of Martin Cosine and Elizabeth, his wife; Richard 
Norris, Joseph Norris and wife; Ira Wright and Elizabeth, his wife; 
and Daniel and Olivfa Bartholomew — nine persons in all. In 1823 
William H. Raper preached as circuit preacher, and may have been the 
first regular pastor. Alfred Cotton and Daniel Plummer held a pro- 
tracted meeting in a log-schoolhouse which stood near the present site of 
the Catholic Schoolhouse. The first Methodist Episcopal Church in 
Aurora was built in 1830, and stood not far from the site of the foundry 
of Mr. Nathan Stedman. The building was of brick, a plain structure; 
its probable dimensions were 30x40 feet, with a small cupola, but lacking 
a bell, as such adornments and conveniences were rare in those days. The 
furniture was of plain character, with no rests or backs at first, but added 
later, a good high pulpit some four feet from main floor, but cut down 
by the influence of some preacher of more modern ideas. This church was 
finished in 1838, James Jones then being preacher in charge. In 1839 a 
revival of religion broke out under the pastoral labors of Charles Bonner 
and S. T. Gillett, extending over the entire circuit. One hundred and forty 
persons were added to the struggling church at Aurora. The first church 
was completed under great difficulties, and when finished there was a mort- 
gage on it, and it was finally sold in 1842. The second church, still 
standing and now known as Siementel's Mill, was built "in 1845. In 
1849 the Aurora charge became a station. Some dissension in the church 
was caused by the doctrine of the coming of Christ known as Millerism; 
a division was created and thirty persons withdrew from the church, 
and others stood aloof from active participation in its affairs. But pros- 
perity returned, and in 1851 the trustees reported that a new and larger 
house was needed. The present church was dedicated in 1862 by Bishop 


E. R. Ames, and there was doubtless a day of rejoicing among the 
Methodists of Aurora. The iirst Sunday-school was probably held about 
1817 or 1818. The following named pastors have served the church 
since it became a station: 1849, John Miller; 1850-51, Samuel P. 
Crawford; 1852-53, John W. Sullivan; 1854-55, Joseph Cotton; 1856-57, 
J. T. R. Miller; 1858-59, S. Tincher; 1860, J. B. Lathrop; 1861-62, 
William G. Ransdall; 1863-64, John A. Chafee; 1865-66, William W. 
Snyder; 1867-68-69, Charles Tinsley; 1870, John S.Tevis; l871-72,Abram 
N. Marlatt; 1873-74, Charles Tinsley; 1875-76-77, R. R. Baldwin; 1878- 
79, D. A. Robertson; 1880-81-82, M. L. Wells; 1883-84-85, E. H. 
Wood (present incumbent). 

The Presbyterian Church. — The first Presbyterian minister who re- 
sided in Aurora was Rev. Lucius Alden, who, in 1826, at the earnest so- 
licitation of Judge Jesse Holman, opened a seminary in the village, 
which he successfully conducted for two years, preaching every fortnight 
in the Hopewell Presbyterian Church, near Dillsborough, and on alter- 
nate Sabbaths at other points in the vicinity. The germ of the Presby- 
terian Church was a Sabbath-school, composed of vchildren not attending 
other schools. It assembled first in a room of the house now occupied 
by Ml-. Adam Weke, but afterward in the schoolhouse (in 1869 the site 
of the Indejjendent printing oflice). Neighboring ministers heard of it, 
and visited it. To this measure, when proposed, the little number of 
ten consented, and April 14, 1844, by a committee of the Presbytery of 
Madison, consisting of Rev. John M. Dicky, Harvey Estes and W. N. 
Smith, was duly organized. Brother Smith, who was the pastor of the 
Presbyterian Church at Lawrenceburgh, took charge of the little flock 
and administered to them for eighteen months, when he left the neigh- 
borhood. It was then, and during its successive vacancies, visited fre- 
quently and cared for by Rev. B. F. Morris, of Rising Sun. During 
the summer of 1846 it enjoyed the ministry of Rev. Abraham Blakely. 
All these ministers are now deceased. In August, 1848, Rev. Levi R. 
Booth was called to its pastorate. During his stay the congregation 
rapidly increased, and after having worshiped in the Baptist and Meth- 
odist meeting houses, and in the second story of the Masonic building 
(now Council Hall), which was fitted up for the purpose, at length ac- 
quired for itself a fixed habitation, and the basement story of the pres- 
ent house of worship was finished. JVIr. Booth resigned his charge De- 
cember 31, 1851. Rev. John H. Ziveley, of Kentucky, succeeded Mr. 
Booth in the autumu of 1852, but remained only three months. Rev. John 
Stewart, of Walnut Hills, Ohio, began his labors as stated supply, Janu- 
ary 1, 1853, and continued therein fifteen months. Rev. A. W. Free- 
man, its present pastor, succeeded Mr. Stewart July 1, 1854. The 


church edifice was completed and dedicated in January, 1856. During 
Mr. Freeman's absence from the country, in 1861-62, the pulpit was 
supplied fifteen months by Rev. John P. Haire. The following persons 
have served as elders, the last four being still in ofiice. Those having a 
* prefixed to their names are deceased: Charles B. Canon, A. B. Haines, 
M. D., Elnathan Horr, *George Greer, *Philip Gould, H. W. Smith, 
James A. De LaVergne, *Peter E. Trim, *Loui8 G. Hulburt, James 
Lamb, M. D., John Mitchell, Henry Fisher, W. C. Henry, M. D. The 
following persons have served as deacons, the last four being still in 
office (1876): *L. G. Hurlburt, *John McConnell, Daniel Armel, John 
H. Gaff, H. W. Hurlburt, Seth Stedman, A. O. Gould, H. B. Shutts, 
Robert Lytle. 

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church. — The first effort for organiz- 
ing a Lutheran congregation in Aurora was made in 1856, by a very 
small number of settlers who were convinced that it was a necessity, as 
well as their Christian duty, to assemble on the Lord's day for divine 
worship. They were occasionally ministered to by different ministers, 
among whom, as the most prominent and successful in their labors, 
Revs. Koening, then of Cincinnati, and Wichmann, of Farmer's Retreat, 
are mentioned with kind remembrance and gratitude. The first mem- 
bers were Fred Schmidt, E. H. Niebaum, J. H. Bower, John E. Bair, 
John Friberger, Herman Schumacher, John Schumacher, Henry Hartker, 
H. Davider, George Sciller, George Ritter, Charles Huxall, George Drex- 
ler, John Steig, Floran M. Frank, Mrs. Catharine Siementel, Mrs. Barbara 
Braunnegel, Mrs. Elizabeth Siementel, Mrs. Rothert, Mrs. Herdegen and 
Mrs. Kreitlein. First officers: Fred Schmidt, president; E, H. Niebaum, 
secretary; John E. Bair, treasurer; Herman Schumacher, John E. Bair and 
John Frybarger, trustees. In 1859 a resident minister took charge of 
the congregation which, meanwhile, had increased, numbering about 
fifteen or sixteen families. Rev. Mr. Hartley also provided for a paro- 
chial school. Two years later he resigned, when the congregation agreed 
to apply to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and other 
States, for a pastoi*. Their call and request was answered, and the work 
of the Lord prospered among them. In 1857 they rented from the 
Baptists the church "over the creek" which, some time after, was acquired 
by purchase. 

The congregation continued growing until their house of worship be- 
came too small for them, and they were compelled to secure a proper lot 
for the purpose of erecting a more commodious church. In May, 1873, 
ground was purchased from the Baptist congregation located on Me- 
chanic Street, when they at once commenced building their present beau- 
tiful church edifice. The same is constructed in the Gothic stvle, with 


a spire 105 feet in height, and adorned with the cross as' an emblem and 
visible testimony that Christ crucified is to be preached and worshiped 
in that church. The interior is of a pleasant impression, its walls being 
white, the pews oil-finish, the pulpit — on the right side of the altar niche, 
from the entrance — of oak grain color, and the baptismal font, on the 
lift side of the altar niche, resembling marble. The altar itself , notwith- 
standing its simplicity, is an ornament indeed. The audience room is 
38x71, containing forty pews — twenty in each row — sitting for 400. 
The gallery has twenty- seven pews, seating about 200. The entire 
length, including steeple and alter niche, is ninety feet, the width forty. 
The foundation was built by Messrs. Gerlach & Horr, of Aurora; the 
water table and the balance of the freestone work by Mr. Huschart, of 
Lawrenceburgh. The contract for the church edifice was awarded to Mr. 
M. Barker. The structure gives credit and the best recommendation to 
the contractor. The building was completed at a cost of over $13,000 
and dedicated February 8, 1874. Since then the congregation has built 
a brick schoolhouse and frame parsonage. Eev. Mr. Hartley, as pastor, 
was followed by Rev. J. C. Schneider, and he by Rev. George Runkle, 
under whose instructions the church was exceptionally successful. Then 
followed Rev. H. Henkel, the present incumbent. 

The Boman Catholic Church, ^^ Immaculate Conception." — The first 
mass celebrated in Aurora was read in O'Brien's house by Rt. Rev. Bishop 
Purcell, of Cincinnati. At this date the bishop, by invitation, delivered 
the first Catholic lecture in Aurora in the old schoolhouse. In the 
spring of 1849 the first meeting of the church under consideration was 
held in Kemp's bakery, the membership being composed of the following 
named German and English speaking people: Barney Shippei', Henry 
Cleaver, John Cleaver, Anthony Cleaver, Frank Cleaver, John Miller, 
Valentine Hahn, Mike Maloney, Sr., John Maloney, Pat Maloney, Pat 
Garrety, Mike Moran. After this the congregation met at Anthony 
Cleaver's, and various other houses, the town hall and schoolhouse until 
December 25, 1857, at which time the first church was erected upon 
"Hog Back" by Father Koch. Father Unterdiener, of Cincinnati, 
Ohio, was the first overseer. He was succeeded by Father Kreisch, 
from Madison. Then came Father Sigmund Koch, after which 
his brother, Ansom Koch, both from St. John's Church, Cincinnati, 
Ohio. Rev. Father Klein became the first resident priest. Octo- 
ber 12, 1863, he purchased the present site, Lots Nos. 168, 164, 165 
and 166, corner of Judiciary and Fourth Streets, agreeing to pay 
$4,500 for the same. Father Klein advanced $1,500 upon the pur- 
chase, and proceeded to erect a church 106x52, thirty-two feet high, 
at a cost of $24,000. He acted as architect and superintendent, and com. 


pleted the building m the falJ of 1864:, excepting the steeple, which was 
finished in the fall of 1876. The membership being poor, after per- 
forming their daily labor, would gather in after supper and place the stone 
and brick upon the ground and scaffold for the masons to work upon during 
the day, thereby dispensing with the usual attendants. The church is 
built of stone and brick, and is a grand structure, and has a seating capac- 
ity of about 1,500. The brick schoolhouse was built in 1866. It is 70x30, 
and at present there are 186 pupils, and four teachers are employed. 
The priest's residence was built and completed in 1873, after which 
Father Klein, was succeeded by Father Ferdinand Hunt, who made mea- 
ger improvements, and increased the liabilities over $5,000. In June, 
1883, Father Hunt was succeeded by Father Schoenthrup, under whose 
careful and prudent management the indebtedness is gradually being 
liquidated. The present membership is over 1,000 souls. In this 
charge there are five sisters, who devote their time and talents to the 

The German Reformed Church. — The first meeting to organize this 
church was held in the basement of the Presbyterian Church, December 
3, 1873. The noble band consisted of twenty-one members, and G. 
Reiche was their first preacher. Jacob Peters was president, Frederick 
Smith, secretary, A. H. Merkle, Frederick Smith, George Meyer, H. 
Gier, and Jacob Peters were trustees. Frederick Smith and Herman 
Lievey, elders; Jacob Peters, George Meyer and George Rieman were 
stewards. September 3, 1874, they dedicated the present church on 
Fifth Street, which is 30x60 feet, brick, and cost $2,000, and has a seating 
capacity of about 500. The church has had its trials and losses by death 
and removals from the city. The present membership is about thirty, and 
since their organization have had only three pastors. Rev. H. Ruster- 
holz succeeded Rev. G. Reiche; and Rev. F. Saure, their present minis- 
ter, who succeeded Rev. Rusterholz. 

St. Mark's Episcopal Church. — April 7, 1874, Bishop Talbot held 
service in the Young Men's Christiaa Association's rooms — the first 
Episcopal service ever held in Aurora. At the earnestly expressed 
desire of a number of persons, immediate steps were taken to organize an 
Episcopal Church, and to secure the regular services of a clergyman. In 
June, 1874, an organization was effected under the laws governing the 
establishing of a mission. The Rev. W. H. Throop, then just ordained 
to the ministry, was appointed by the bishop to take charge. He entered 
at once upon the earnest discharge of his duties, and during the time of 
his ministry at Aurora succeeded in bringing fourteen persons to con- 
firmation — the nucleus of a congregation. The first confirmation took 
place September 20, 1874, when nine received the rite. In April, 1875, 


five persons were confirmed. Rev. Mr. Throop resigned his charge on the 
29th of September, 1875, to enter upon a larger field of labor. In 
October, 1875, Rev. Thomas W. McLean, formerly assistant minister in 
St. Paul's Cathedral, Indianapolis, succeeded Rev. Mr. Throop. From 
this time on, for a period, the parish services were held in the German 
Methodist house of worship, located at the foot of Fifth Street. Subse- 
quently the parish erected a neat little frame church edifice, in which 
their services have since been held. December 1, 1877, Rev. McLean 
was succeeded by Rev. Curtis P. Jones, who officiated as rector until 
1878, when he resigned and was succeeded by Rev. Thomas K. Coleman. 
The next rector was Rev. Benjamin T. Hall, who entered uponhis duties 
April 1, 1880, and remained with the charge until 1881, after which 
services consisted in lay reading by Mr. F. M. Munson until January, 

1883. From this date only occasional meetings were held Until July 15, 

1884, when Rev. David B. Ramsey took charge of the church. In Sep- 
tember, 1884, under his supervision, the church was moved and a rectory 
for the pastor was at once erected. The present number of communi- 
cants is twenty-five. The parish warden is F. G. Appleton; vestryman, 
George B. Maltby. 

The Christian Church. — Through the instrumentality of J. N. Wal- 
ton, the first meeting of this organization was held in the German 
Methodist Episcopal Church, on Fifth Street, on the first Sunday in 
Octobei', 1879, with the following members present: James N. Wal- 
ton, R. H. Davis and wife, and visiting members from Lawrenceburgh 
and Petersburg. Elder A. Elmore presided. Elder Rowe, editor of 
the Christian Revietv, was present. The meetings continued for one 
week, and closed with the two last services on Sunday in the Opera 
House, Elder A. Elmore preaching at 3 P. M. Sunday afternoon, sub- 
ject, " Hell; " and at 7:30 in the evening, subject, "Heaven." There 
were over 1,000 persons present at each service. At this time originated 
the sending of a challenge by Rev. Merrill, pastor of the Universalist 
Chui-ch, to Elder A. Elmore to discuss the question " Do the Scriptures 
teach that all who die in willful disobedience, will be finally holy and 
happy in the life to come? " The matter was turned over to H. B. 
Sherman, who concluded to continue the meeting in the Opera House 
for three evenings, and in the course of two months perfected arrange- 
ments with William Holt, of Indianapolis, Christian, and Rev. Carlton, 
of Ohio, Universalist, to discuss the above question. The debate 
took place in the Opera Hoiise, which lasted three evenings and closed 
the fourth evening at the Universalist Church (which the Christian 
Church now owns). Great interest was manifested, and all denomina- 
tions turned out en masse. The result of the debate was satisfactory to 


the Christian people. During the debate many persons were present 
from Cincinnati, Ohio, Petersburg, Ky., Pleasant Ridge, Rising Sun 
and Chesterville. About live weeks after the debate took place, Elder 
William Holt returned and held a series of meetings in the Opera House, 

at which Mrs. Fannie Walton and Miss Lina Davis made confession 

the first fruits of the preaching of the Christian Church of this city. 
This closed the meetings until the third Sunday in January, 1880, when 
Elder I. G. Tomlinson, of Indianapolis, held services at 3 P. M., in 
Council Hall, Criswill's Block, with about sixty persons present. Again 
on the 28th day of February, 1880, at the same place on Saturday eve- 
ning, L. L. Carpenter, State Sunday-school evangelist, presided with 
only fifteen present. The first communion services were held in the 
same hall on Sunday, at 10:30 A. M,, L. L. Carpenter presiding, with 
thirty- seven present, at which time H. H. J. F. Muller, German Luth- 
eran preacher of twelve years' experience in the ministry, applied for 
baptism by immersion, having changed his views upon baptism and other 
teachings of the Lutheran Church. The next service was held at 3 P. 
M., Elder Carjjenter preaching. His text was on the "Christian's 
Hope." Members of the Petersburg Church chartered steamer " Min- 
nie, " and attended this service, sixty strong. Monday and Tuesday eve- 
nings following, services were held in an old dingy store-room in Cris- 
will's Block, much interest being manifested. L. L. Carpenter being 
unable to remain loDger on account of previous appointments, J. N. 
Walton telegraphed T. G. Tomlinson, of Indianapolis, to come and 
continue the meeting. The meetings were conducted until Sunday, 
March 14, at which time L G. Tomlinson affected an organization with 
fourteen charter members, to wit: James N. Walton, Fannie Walton 
Miss Lina Daris, R. H. Davis and wife, Mary A. Lindsay, Mrs. W. H. 
Lamar, George Hood and wife. Miss Frankie Hood, H. H. J. F. Muller, 
Mrs. Lizzie Given, Mrs. Lou Marshall and Mrs. Ellen Keerney. The 
first officers were James N. Walton andH. H. J. F. Muller, elders; R. H. 
Davis and George Hood, deacons; Mrs. Walton and Mrs. Given, deacon- 
esses; James N. Walton, secretary and treasurer. 

Sunday-school was organized at the same time, and officered as follows: 
H. H. J. F. Muller, superintendent; Richard Ashworth (Baptist) assistant 
superintendent; Miss Lina Davis, secretary; Miss Carrie Stevens, treas- 
urer; Miss Nettie Bussell, librarian. The happy band continued to meet 
in the room for a year and a half. T. D. Garvin, of Eaton, Ohio, held a 
series of meetings, lasting one month. Great interest was manifested, 
and eight persons were added to the church, when a room was secured in 
the Opera House. The most important meetings wei'e held by H. W. 
Elliott, when some thirty-three were added to the church. In Septem- 


ber, 1882, the congregation rented the Universalist Church, and 
January 8, 1884, purchased the same for $1,000. In June, 1884, the 
church was thoroughly remodeled by inserting new seats and windows, 
applying paint, paper, carpet, and hanging a new bell, which makes it a 
neat and attractive house of worship. 

During the floods of 1883 and 1884, while the church was occupied 
by the flood- sufferers. Good Templars' Hall was secured, where church 
services and Sunday-school were held. The church has never failed to 
meet for worship on Sunday since its organization. The present mem- 
bership is about forty, having been somewhat reduced by the removal of 
several families to other places. The church is in a very prosperous con- 
dition. Present officers are James N. Walton, elder, 'secretary and treas- 
urer; R. H. Davis and James Williamson, deacons. 

The Sunday-school is in a very prosperous condition; average attend- 
ance about 140. The present officers are James N. Walton, superintend- 
ent and treasurer; James Williamson, assistant superintendent; Miss 
Lina Davis, secretary; Miss Daisey Williamson and Miss Cora Bleasdell, 
librarians, including fourteen teachers; Mrs. Fannie W^alton, organist. 


Aurora is not devoid of manufacturing interests, there being several 
important establishments within the corporation, but her nearness to the 
great markets, facilities for shipment by rail and water, valuable timber 
in the surrounding counties, and other natural advantages, should rapidly 
and permanently add to the number. 

The early history of the distilling business in this neighborhood, in. 
which so much capital is now employed, ought to furnish an interesting 
chapter. Unfortunately but little information can now be obtained of 
the pioneer distillers, and the means employed by them in the manufac- 
ture of whisky. »^The first distillery — allowing that it can be called by 
such a dignified name — of which we have any account, was built some- 
where on Tanner's Creek in 1809. The first in this immediate neigh- 
borhood was situated on the Worley farm, and was owned by Nathan 
Worley. Probably the entire cost of the mill and machinery did not ex- 
ceed $50. Its capacity was about one barrel a week. It was run by 
horse power, and required the labor of one man to attend to it. This 
distillery was probably in operation about the time Aiirora was laid out. 
Even at that early day it could not manufacture enough whisky to supply 
the demand, and in consequence the product of the mill was not allowed 
a chance to improve by age, but was put on the market at once. An in- 
cident, related substantially as it was given to the writer, may serve to 
show how quickly this stock passed from the manufacturer's hands to the 


consumer. Our authority is an old and respected citizen, whose grand- 
father was one of the men interested. One day a party composed of 
seven old settlers, concluded they would take a walk out to the distillery. 
Their object in going there does not appear, nor is it essential' to the 
story. They arrived on the ground at an early hour, before any of the 
neighbors had congregated— it being a place of resort— and just as the 
distilleryman was hitching his horse^to the beam to commence operations. 
In those pioneer times liquor was taken occasionally for the stomach's 
sake, as it is to-day, and being then the honest extraction of the grain, 
its effects were less disastrous than at present. The seven forefathers 
were of the opinion that a moderate indulgence would not be amiss after 
the morning walk, and each prepared himself with a drinking cup. 
There was no stock on hand, and as the horse walked slowly around, and 
the new liquor Howed in a gentle stream from a wooden spout, our seven 
caught it in their cups, each in his turn, and drank it on the spot. On 
this occasion the distillery was made to run above its capacity, as those 
whose turn seemed long in coming followed after the horse, and, to in- 
crease the production of the mill, urged the animal beyond his usual 
speed. This enterprise continued about an hour or more, and every 
spoonful of whisky produced was drank then and there. Such incidents 
as the above were of frequent occurrence — at all events they were not 
rare — and this one only differs from them in what follows. About the 
time our party felt that they were invigorated sufficiently for all imme- 
diate requirements, another squad came along and relieved them of their 
drinking cups. This proved to be a thirsty squad also, and for another 
hour the propelling power was kept on a trot. To the writer this seems 
bordering on the shadowy and unreal, and he is almost persuaded to fol- 
low the incident no further. But his authority being the grandson of one 
of those very men, he is compelled to sacrifice his own feelings for the 
sake of history, and continue with it to the end. One squad succeeded 
another throughout the entire day, and the production was consumed 
without sugar as fast as it fell from the spout. Not a drop reached the 
receiving tub, nor was a drop wasted. At nightfall these convivial spir- 
its took a final "here's-looking-at-you," remunerated the proprietor, and 
departed for their homes. 

The Aurora Distilling Company. — Manufacturers of rye and Bourbon 
whiskies, located on Importing Street, had its incipiency here over forty 
years ago, having been started in 1843 by T. and J. W. Gaff & Co., and 
successfully operated by them until December 1, 1881. At that date a 
joint stock company was organized with a capital of $300,000, which 
assumed control of the concern, greatly extending their productive capac. 
ity, and materially adding to the reputation of their product. Charles L. 


Howe is president of the new coi'poration, John McGuire, vice-president 
and superintendent, and Henry W. Smith, secretary and treasurer. About 
five acres of ground are occupied by their buildings and cattle sheds, the 
distillery and warehouses alone covering one-half the space. The dimen- 
sions of the distillery proper are 260 feet in length by eighty feet in 
width and two stories high. A few statistics in regard to its extensive 
operations, would, no doubt, be interesting, and we accordingly give 
them. Some 450,000 bushels of grain are yearly consumed, producing 
from 60,000 to 65,000 barrels of whisky, arid requiring in the manufact- 
ure and distribution of this enormous product the services of over fifty 
men. The capacity of the still is 150 to 200 barrels per day, necessitat- 
ing the consumption of 2,000 bushels of corn, malt and rye, which, after 
the distilling process, possesses a secondary value as food for cattle. 
About 1,600 or 1,700 head of fat cattle are thrown upon the market every 
spring by this means, thus yielding a gross income of nearly $75,000. 
The mash of almost half a million bushels of grain is thus made to serve 
the double purpose of manufacturing and cattle food. It would no 
doubt be a subject of interest to detail the process of manufacturing from 
the beginning to the last important operation — the attachment of the in- 
ternal revenue stamps; but this our limited space will not allow. When 
it is remembered that the revenue tax is 90centspergallon,it will be seen 
that the United States Government realizes annually over $1,500,000 
from the operations of this establishment. It may not be usually known 
that the product of the still is rarely put upon the general market for 
several years after being stored. As its value increases with age it is 
allowed to remain in the warerooms until it can be disposed of profitably 
to the retail dealer. To enable the manufacturer or wholesaler to hold 
his product without loss in interest, or by accident, the United States 
Government has established tbe "bonded warehouse," in which the man- 
ufacturer stores his liquors, receives the bond of "Uncle Sam" for the 
same, and pays the revenue tax at the end of three years. The company 
at present have 16,000 barrels of whisky in their storage room and in 
the four bonded warehouses, and 4,400 more in their warehouse at 
Bremen, Germany. The product of the Aurora distillery is handled by 
dealers in all parts of the United States, and has won a high reputation 
wherever sent. Dearborn and Ohio Counties furnish all the grain used 
here, as well as a large per cent of the cattle. In the operation of a 
business like this, costly and extensive machinery is of course required; 
we can not, however, describe in detail this feature of the establishment, 
but can furnish some idea of the completeness of its facilities in this 
respect by saying that four boilers thirty feet in length by four feet in 
diameter, and a seventy-two horse-power engine, with eight other engines, 
are required to furnish the necessary propelling force. 


Samuel Wyviond & Co., manufacturers of barrels, half barrels and 
kegs, and dealers in puncheon stock. The shops were originally estab- 
lished twenty years ago by Samuel and Philip Wymond, who continued 
their successful operation until late in the year 1879, at which time they 
were completely destroyed by the ravages of the tire tiend. Following 
the fire Mr. P. Wymond retired, and with indomitable pluck, which sub- 
mits to no discouragement in consequence of disaster, more commodious 
buildings were'at once erected by Samuel Wymond, and work resumed 
on an extended scale. He continued the business alone for several years, 
but his growing demands requiring more capital and more attention, he 
accepted as partners James Wymond and William E. Gibson. This 
partnership was formed in 1874, and continued till 1877, when Samuel 
Wymond was again left alone by the retirement of the aforesaid part- 
ners, but in conjunction with Mr. G. H. Wymond at once formed the 
present firm, purchasing at the same time the cooperage works formerly 
owned by W. E. Gibson & Co. The works of Wymond & Co. occupy 
the square bounded by Exporting, Importing, Bridgeway and Second 
Streets, and have a capacity of 600 whisky barrels per day. Although a 
very large per cent of their manufacture is whisky barrels, they turn out 
annually large quantities of pork barrels, kegs and lard tierces. Their 
surplus product, after supplying the local demand, is shipped to Cincin- 
nati, St. Louis, Louisville and the Pacific coast, and wherever used 
have been regarded with high favor. The perfection to which American 
wood working machinery has been brought within the last few years, has 
materially changed the process of barrel making, so that now in every 
cooper- shop of considerable size a very large per cent of the labor is 
performed by machinery. With all their labor-saving appliances, Wy- 
mond & Co., furnish employment to over 100 men, and disburse every 
month $4,000 to $5,000 in wages. A large sixty horse-power engine 
and boiler is used in operating the various machines, and these together 
with the manual force employed, turn off an annual product valued at 
nearly 1300,000. Three million pieces of raw material are constantly 
kept on hand, and altogether this is one of the most flourishing institu- 
tions in the city. 

The Aurora Flour Mills, located on Third Street and Bridgeway had 
their origin in a mill that was started at above site some twenty-five 
years ago, having been in several hands, the last before the present firm 
being Michael and Leonard Siemantel. Droge & Donselman became 
proprietors in 1876, and have since continued the business. Additions 
have from time to time been made to the mill, and about a year since the 
building was completely overhauled and refitted, better machinery added, 
and the mill supplied with a new outfit for making flour by the roller 


process, and no pains or money was spared to make it the best mill in 
this section of country. There are now in full operation four double 
sets of E. P. Allis & Co.'s rolls, planted on firm foundations and doing 
their work in a very noiseless and satisfactoiy manner, they also have 
four run of buhrs in operation. Their brands of Hour are rapidly taking 
precedence over all others, and their work in general is giving excellent 
satisfaction. The establishment is now run strictly as a merchant mill, 
as the proprietors think an evener and better grade of flour can be produced 
in this manner than by doing custom work; but flour is exchanged with 
farmers for grain, and they can bring their grist to mill, receive the cash 
or flour in exchange, and carry the products home without further delay. 
The capacity of the mills is now 200 barrels for a full day, which re- 
quires for the same over 1,000 bushels of wheat. Grain is principally 
obtained from the surrounding country, by which a local market is pro- 
vided for nearly all the farmers' surplus ])roduct. The building occupied 
is a four story brick, 40x50 feet, with a boiler room in addition. The 
propelling power is furnished by two twenty-two feet boilers and a mas- 
sive eighty horse-power engine of Steadman & Co. 's make. Ten men 
are employed in its operation, and the product is disposed of in this vic- 
inity, Cincinnati and the Southern trade. In addition to the main build- 
ings, they have numerous sheds, and the mill is equipped with purifiers, 
dusters, wheat-cleaners, bolting-reels, flour packers and all the late in- 

Stedman & Co., manufacturers of engines, car wheels, hay and cot- 
ton presses and general machinery. In detailing the industries of this 
city we cannot fail to give due prominence to this long-established and 
well-conducted institution, occupying, as it does, an important position 
among the industries of Aurora. Started in Rising Sun by N. R. Sted- 
man and others, it was operated there for two years, and then removed 
to Aurora, having now been in uninterrupted operation here for thirty- 
six years without a single stop on account of strikes or financial panics. 
On the death of Lamdin, two yeai's after removing to this city, T. & J. 
W. Gaff purchased his interest, when the firm name was changed to 
Stedman & Co., which it still continues, although the elder Stedman has 
been deceased since April last, leaving the entire control of the works in 
the hands of his son, Nathan, who came in as a partner in 1867. The 
recent decease of the Gaffs leaves Mr. Stedman the only surviving mem- 
ber of the co-partnership of 1867. The premises of the company at 
present include ten town lots, mostly covered with buildings, and pre- 
senting the evidence of an extensive and thrifty enterprise. Experienced 
foremen, who have been employed from twenty to twenty-six years here, 
are placed in the different departments, and nothing is omitted that 


would in any way add to the excellence of their work. The finishing 
department is superintended by Mr. Joseph Miller, the cotton-press fac- 
tory by R. B. Fowler, the foundry by R. T. Hubbard, and the pattern 
making by M. R. Lukens. Mr. Stedman himself, who has been the 
practical manager of the enterprise since 1867, was actively employed in 
the shops from the time he was sixteen years of age, so that long before 
he ceased to be manually engaged in them he had become an expert in 
the business, and was intimately familiar with every branch of their 
manufacture. The Stedmans, although judicious in business, were at 
the same time full of push, and always kept their institution well abreast 
of the times. Many important inventions in machinery have been added 
from time to time to their facilities, and it is difficult to find an estab- 
lishment more thoroughly prepared to do promptly and satisfactorily all 
kinds of work. They are conveniently located for the delivery of goods 
to the boat landing or the railroad freight offices, and their accumula- 
tion of thirty-six years of patterns gives them facilities for a wide range 
of work. Some eighty to 100 men find employment in their various de- 
partments of labor, and the range of work embraces car-wheels, hay and 
cotton presses, circle saw-mills, brick machines, drag-saws, mill machin- 
ery, corn-shellers and all kinds of castings. Engine building is their 
leading specialty, and the Stedman Engines are a favorite all over the 
West and South, as well as in the leading manufactories of this city and 
section. Two hundred thousand dollars are said to be invested in this 

Fisk Brothers Carriage Manufactory. — The first carriage manufactory 
in Aurora was owned by Edwards & Smith, and was started in 1853. In 
1855 Charles Fisk was admitted as a partner in the firm, and continued 
as such until March, 1864, when the manufactory was purchased by him- 
self and three brothers, Henry Fisk, Harry Fisk and Hiram Fisk. The 
new firm, under the title of Fisk Bros., commenced at once the man- 
ufacture of carriages, buggies and spring wagons, on a more extensive 
scale. The Messrs. Fisk were all practical carriage-makers, as well as 
enterprising business men, and they were not long in building up a large 
trade. After the close of the war they found a large market in the 
South, and for several years their shipments to that country were quite 
extensive. Marion Fisk, another brother, was their Southern agent, with 
headquarters at Vicksburg, Miss., and Shreveport, La. In consequence 
of the unsettled condition of the country at that time, they were finally 
compelled to abandon their trade South. At the present time their trade 
is principally in Indiana and Kentucky. The work turned out by this 
firm takes rank among the best in the country. 


The Door, Sash and Lumber Factory and Yards of L. G. Hitrlberf, 
office located on the corner of Third and Mechanic Streets. — The father, 
L. G. Hurlbert, Sr., began business as a lumber dealer here a great 
many years ago, and in 1866 L. G. Hurlbert, Jr., was taken in as a part- 
ner. Soon after the death of the senior Hurlbert the son became solo 
proprietor of the business, which he has continued to control to the pres- 
ent time. His yard is well supplied with all kinds of rough and dressed 
pine lumber, which is obtained principally from the forests of northern 
Michigan, besides a large quantity of sawed shingles, sash and doors. 
Of lumber alone Mr. Hurlbert handles annually upward of 1,000,000 
feet, while his operations in shingles amounts to almost 1,500,000 
yearly. The annual cost of these supplies must reach a large sum of 
money, and when it is remembered that this is the pioneer yard of the 
county, having had an uninterrupted existence of thirty-five or forty 
years, it will be seen that since beginning trade this firm has handled 
capital aggregating many hundred thousand dollars. The premises 
occupied consist of a half-dozen lots, the old planing-mill and other 
buildings. Mr. Hurlbert's success is the result of a thorough knowledge 
of the business and careful attention to the wants of his customers, who 
are distributed throughout every part of this and adjoining counties. 

John Cobb & Co., manufacturers of wood and cane-seated chairs, 
factory located on the corner of Third Street and Bridgeway. This old- 
established institution has for many years been the^main stay of the 
chair-making industry in this section, having been founded by the Au- 
rora Chair and Furniture Manufacturing Company, as long ago as 1868. 
Two years after the business was started here, it was purchased by John 
Cobb & Co., and has since been continued under their management, and 
exerting a beneficial effect upon the town in which it is located by pro- 
viding remunerative employment to a large force of workmen. It at the 
same time demonstrates the advantages of this place as a manufacturing 
point by the success it has achieved, and provides a convenient market 
for the costly grades of timber in this and surrounding counties. la 
September, 1882, the entire factory and a large amount of the stock 
were destroyed by lire, entailing a heavy loss on the company, one-third 
of which only was covered by insurance; but with an energy that defied 
even the fii'e fiend they at once began the reconstruction of their works, 
and within 100 days were again in full operation. The new buildings 
are much more substantial than the destroyed ones were, being built 
principally of brick, and having a superior outlay of machinery. The 
factory, at present, covers about a quarter of a square, is located at the 
corner of Third and Bridgeway Streets, and is well supplied with plan- 
ers, band saws, turning lathes, boring, mortising and tenant machines, 



circle saws, and many other appliances necessary for the skillful and 
effective employment of labor. About 130 workmen are employed in the 
various departments, who turn off about 200 dozen chairs of different 
grades every week. These goods are marketed almost entirely in the 
northern half of the Union, being shipped to various points from New 
York City to San Francisco. A portion of the force and machinery is at 
present employed in constructing chairs for the use of the United States 
Government. These chairs are marvels of beauty, and so, in fact, are 
all the chairs made here. Cobb & Co. are also operating alai-ge branch 
factory at Butlerville, Ind., where another quality of goods are pro- 
duced, such as maple chairs, rawhide frames and other cheaper kinds. 
The operations of the Aui'ora establishment is almost entirely in the line 
of line walnut chairs, and embraces a gi'eat variety of styles. Almost 
three-fifths of the annual disbui'sements of this firm for material and 
labor is left in this vicinity, thus adding largely to the general welfare 
of our people. In the manufacture of every article at this establish- 
ment nothing but the best stock is used, and hence the trade can always 
rely on the superiority of its production. Of the value of the annual 
output we are not informed, but that it amounts to a large sum can be 
readily understood from the fact that the company distributes among its 
employes alone over §30,000 yearly. The company, as at present organ- 
ized, consists of John Cobb, J. A. Cobb, T. J. Cobb and Stedman & Co. 
John Cobb is a native of Pennsylvania, and came to Aurora as 
early as 1819. He was engaged in the boating business for many years, 
and has been connected with mercantile, manufacturing, and other 
business undertakings from the earliest history of the city. 

The Crescent Brewing Company. — Beer brewing and bottling estab- 
lishment, Decatur and Market Streets. The increasing popularity of 
lager as a drink has made beer brewing an industry of vast proportions, 
involving the employment of immense capital and labor. The beer busi- 
ness was begun in Aurora about eleven years ago by Gaff & Co., at 
which time the Crescent Breweiy was erected, and by whom it was 
operated for five years, then passing into the hands of the present joint 
stock company. This company was organised in 1S78 with a paid in 
capital of §250,000, and is officered as follows: President, J. TT. Gaff; 
vice-president, G. L. Howe; treasurer, J. D. Parker; secretary, J. K. 
Vail; superintendent, S. D. Langtree. The foreman, Mr. M. Butz, is 
a gentleman with few superiors as an experienced brewer. From the 
organization of the Crescent Brewing Company these works have had a 
remarkably prosperous career, and the excellent reputation of their prod- 
uct has been steadily extended. As an evidence o^ the high quality 
of their manufacture mav be mentioned the fact, that they have secured 


first premiums at a number of State fairs in the South, among which 
were those of North Carolina and Atlanta, Ga. The company em - 
ploy sixty to seventy workmen in the various departments of manufact- 
ure, running both night and day; do their own malting, require a 
great amount of barley and hops in their operations, and have an ex- 
pensive Arctic ice machine for keeping the finished product cool, it be- 
ing necessary to hold the temperature to about thirty -five degrees. The 
brine used in the cooling process is impelled through eight miles of 
pipe. In addition to their own requirements the company have facilities 
for producing thirty -five tons of ice daily, and are just putting in an 
expensive Ballantine ice machine, capable of producing twenty-five tons 
more each day. A large supply of malt is kept in their storage rooms. 
Some 800 casks, with a capacity of 1,500 gallons each, are kept full of 
beer, ready to be drawn for shipment. It can readily be comprehended 
that the equipment of such an institution requires a vast expenditure 
of capital in machinery and other necessities. The establisment is 
fitted up with all the necessary appliances for the successful prosecution 
of the business, being supplied with a large outfit of the best steam 
machinery, bottling equipments and malting facilities. The boiler 
room, 30x50, is provided with four massive boilers, while in different 
parts of the several buildings are nine engines of various sizes, one being 
sixty horse-power, besides a number of force pumps and many miles of 
copper and iron pipes. The main building is 300 feet long by 180 a 
part of the distance, and 90 the remainder. It contains two malt 
kilns 30x30, four fermenting cellars each 25x100, four ice storage rooms 
each 40 feet deep and 30x60 feet, eleven cask rooms for storing the 
finished product, an engine room, 30x60, besides numberless other 
rooms for difi'erent purposes. There are many other items and facts 
connected with this institution that would be of interest to the wor- 
shipers of Gambrinus, but we have not the space to further extend this 
article. We will conclude by saying that the product of the Crescent 
Brewery is, after supplying the local demand, shipped to all parts of 
the Southern States," and wherever used has been regarded as the best 
lager made. A very large amount of money is expended in this section 
for barley and wages, while the annual output of the institution aggre- 
gates about $500,000, thus adding materially to the prosperity of the 

Cobb^s Iron and Nail Factory, located along the river and the railroad 
in the northeastern part of the city, had its origin in the rolling-mill, 
established in 1873, and operated by the Aurora Iron Company, In 
September, of the year above mentioned, J. B. Evans, a gentleman of 
large experience in the manufacture of iron, desiring a location for a roll- 


ing-mill, received a proposition from the citizens of Aurora, the latter 
giving him ten acres of ground and $16,000 in money, which proposition 
was accepted. Mr. Evans associated with him other men under the firm 
name of Evans & Co., to erect in this city a rolling-mill and tube works. 
In November the firm merged into the Aurora Iron Company, which was 
regularly organized on the 15th of that month, and went into operation 
with the following named officers: President, J. B. Evans; vice-president, 
Levi C. Goodale ; secretary and treasurer, F. M. Munson. The main 
building of the works first erected was 200x160 feet, in which were 
placed five heating furnaces and eight boilers supplying steam, the 
largest engine being of 350 horse-power. The building and equipping 
of the works, cost between $100,000 and $200,000. In 1875, the Aurora 
Iron & Nail Company, composed of the Aurora Iron Company (rolling- 
mill) and the Haddock Nail Machine & Nail Manufacturing Company, 
of Cincinnati, consolidated for the manufacture of iron and nails and nail 
machines, and was incorporated. In the fall of 1881 the Aurora Iron & 
Nail Company merged into and was reorganized as the Cobb Iron & Nail 
Company. In the spring of 1885 the company disposed of the sheet and 
barr mill and the right to use Cobb's patent process for manufacturing 
nails on fifty machines to another company. Both companies have since 
increased the capacity of their respective branches of manufacturing, and 
the new company are manufacturing from 400 to 600 kegs of nails per 
day. The old company still owns the nail plate mill and the nail fac- 
tory, which have no equal in the United States for making good nails at 
so small a cost. It is said that the first sheet iron manufactured in the 
State of Indiana was made here in 1874. 

Sutton Mill Company, manufacturers of rough and dressed lum- 
ber, south of rolling-mills. The saw mill operated by the above com- 
pany was first built by John Graham and came into the present firm's 
hands in 1882. By the floods of February, 1884, the building and much 
of its lighter machinery was carried down the raging Ohio; but, not to 
be baffled by disaster, the proprietors at once began the construction of a 
more substantial building, taking the precaution to anchor the sills six 
feet under ground, thus securing themselves against a similar misfortune 
in case of another flood. Improved machinery has taken the place of 
what was lost in the freshet, so that at present Messrs. Sutton & Co. can 
boast of having the best equipped saw and planing-mill in this entire 
region. Its sawing department has recently added a new carriage way, 
which enables them to saw timber forty feet in length. The capacity is 
18,000 or 20,000 feet of lumber per day, while in the planing and dress- 
ing department they have ample facilities for doing a large amount of 
work in the best possible manner. An average of 15,000 feet of lumber 


is daily produced, which, after supplying the local trade, is shipped to 
Cincinnati. They make a specialty of filling contract bills, having re- 
cently furnished the new Petersburg Distillery with 125,000 feet. Logs 
from the Big Sandy region are rafted from Catlettsburg on the Ohio, 
although considerable quantities of walnut and other timbers are ob- 
tained in this vicinity. Additional machinery for the manufacture of 
doors, sash, etc., is to be introduced next year, which will make what is 
already a creditable establishment one of still greater importance. Some 
fifteen men are given employment about the mills, and, taken altogether, 
the institution is of the greatest convenience to this whole section. 
In fact it is absolutely indispensable to a community like this, where there 
is such an active demand for the different varieties of plain and dressed 
lumber. In its annual operations this firm uses about $30,000 worth of 
logs, and turns out $60,000 to $75,000 worth of product. 

Walker^s Brick Manufactory, plain, ornamental and pressed brick, 
Walker's west side addition. — John Walker, for eight years past, has 
been extensively engaged in the manufacture of brick. A visit to his 
yards during the working season would disclose a busy and interesting 
scene, as thirty hands are constantly employed in the operation of the 
various machinery and other departments of the work. The first thing 
of importance noticed in a hurried perambulation of the premises was a 
pug-mill, in which the material is saturated with water and thoroughly 
mixed by machinery, thus dispensing with the labor of four extra hands 
in the mud pits, where a very laborious and disagreeable portion of the 
work was formerly performed. From this pug-mill the mud is forced 
into a brick machine and by it pressed into the moulds, thence passing 
into the hand of the striker. This machine is of the famous Martin 
patent, since greatly improved by J. Creager, and has a capacity of over 
5,000 bricks per hour, if sufficient force and material could be furnished 
for such rapid operation, the average capacity of the yard, however, is 
25,000 bricks per day. The newly molded product is dried principally in 
sheds, as sun-dried bricks are considered far inferior to them, in point of 
strength and smoothness of surface. Although the ordinary product of 
this yard is practically a perfect brick, Mr. Walker has facilities for 
repressing, by which he is enabled to produce a brick almost as smooth as 
polished marble, and with corners as perfect as those of a parallelogram. 
!Phe Miller & Cornell machines are used in the repressing process, which 
is something that requires skillful and careful management. Large 
quantities of the repressed product are sent to leading architects of Cin- 
cinnati, which are used in the erection of handsome suburban residences 
on Walnut Hills, Avoudale, and other places, bringing remunerative 
prices. Another specialty of this yard is an ornainentai brick, of several 



very pretty and unique designs, valuable as a finishing material and in 
the construction of chimneys. Three kilns, with a capacity of 300,000 
pieces each, are in operation, producing annually 2,500,000, 
the prospect being that the product of 1885 will reach over 3,000,000. 
These, if laid end to end, would make an unbroken line from 
New York to San Francisco, and back as far as Denver. »-.Mr. Walker uses 
slack for fuel, which he considers superior for brick burning to anything 
else. He employs the calorific (i. e., hot air) process in burning, by 
which, with other careful manipulations in laying, etc., the arch bricks 
are left equal in all respects to any other, and are wholly free from the 
cracked and smoky appearance which they usually present. From three 
to four car loads are shipped daily, going principally to Cincinnati and 
its suburbs, where Mr. Walker has established a reputation as a brick- 
maker equal to the best in the country, not excepting Zanesville pro- 
ducers. In every quality excepting color, the product of the Walker yards 
is actually superior to that of Zanesville, and with the aid of Zanesville 
sand and other improved methods, Mr. W. will no doubt equal them even 
in that respect. Having already devised many valuable improvements 
in brick-making, among which is the employment of truck mules in trans- 
ferring the unfinished product to different parts of the yard and another 
convenient arrangement called the return mud belt, by which the mortar 
accumulating upon the striker is returned to the pug-mill, he can not 
fail to still further improve his facilities. In this way Mr. Walker has 
so perfected his work as to be able to compete with the most reputed 
manufacturers in the country. 

The Wymond Brick Yard.— Phillip Wymond was born in Cornwall, 
England, and in 1829, while still quite young, removed to this county. In 
1859 he located at Aurora, and has been in business here continu- 
ously since that time, principally in the cooperage manufacture. He is 
at present operating a brick yard at the upper end of Broadway, and 
seems to be conducting a prosperous business. Rather extensive im- 
provements in machinery and other appliances are contemplated for the 
coming year, and if these are added, which they no doubt will be, this 
yard bids fair to become an important rival in the brick-making indus- 
try. At present the Wymond yard is producing bricks at the rate of 
10,000 per day. Two kilns are required for burning purposes, in which 
the calorific process is employed, and in the various departments of the 
work the services of something near a dozen men are required. 

Mitchell (& Langtree's Brick Yard, located near the rolling-mills, first 
began operation here over sixteen years ago under the management of 
Mitchell & Harbaugh. It was conducted by them very successfully un- 
til about three years ago, when the old partnership was dissolved and the 


present firm assumed control. This yard is located east of the rolling- 
mill, with convenient facilities for shipping either by water or rail, and 
has a capacity of 1,000,000 to 1,200,000 brick per annum. No mold- 
incr machinery is used here for the reason that the managers think hand- 
made brick of superior firmness, and say that many of their customers in 
Cincinnati prefer them. The process of burning is essentially the same 
here as at the other yards in this place, two kilns being used for this 
purpose, having a capacity of over 300,000 each. Much of the product 
was formerly used in this vicinity, but it is now almost entirely mar- 
keted in Cincinnati. 

The Carriage Factory of H. Fritz, located'on the corner of Third and 
Mechanic Streets. Mr. Fritz confines himself to no special vehicle, but 
builds to the order of customers, carriages, buggies, phaetons, buck- 
boards, farm and spring wagons, and attends to repairing in a skillful 
manner. It is unnecessary to dilate upon the merits of the work done at 
this shop, as the large patronage and long term of the service is the best 
attestation of its good character. Mr, Fritz is a native of Ohio and 
came to Aurora in 1855. He was employed for many years by the Fisk 
Bros., and others in the wagon-building business, served three years in 
the army as a private and ten years ago established in business as above, 
having made it a gratifying success. 

The Aurora Valley Furniture and Upholstering Company is located 
on Decatur Sti'eet, in that part of the city designated as Texas, with sale 
and packing rooms on Second and Judiciary Streets. The company was 
formed in the fall of 1872, by William Willman, H. J. Probst, Freder- 
ick Bosse, Garrett Bosse, H. Droge, William Bosse, C. Westmyre and 
Wallace Mead. In 1876 Frederick Bosse, William Bosse and Wallace 
Mead sold out, and Gr. C. Probst and George Hafl'erkamp came in, which 
constitutes the present firm. Their factory is 50x75 feet, two-story 
brick and frame structure. Their propelling power is a forty horse- 
power engine which drives all kinds of machinery, giving employment to 
fifty hands. Their sales and packing rooms are 60x85 feet, part two and 
three stories high, with cellar under all. This firm manufactures me- 
dium and fine goods, and have five salesmen on the road, the South 
and West being their best Territory, but have a general trade throughout 
the States and Territories. The same firm opened up a branch factory at 
Seymour, Ind., January 1, 1885 ; their shops being 60x100 feet, three- 
story brick, with engine and dry house attached, in which have been placed 
a forty horse-power engine and all necessary new and improved machinery, 
where will work fifty or more men, and manufacture only a fine grade of 
furniture, and common in Aurora. The city of Seymour donated the 
ground and buildings as an inducement to the company to locate there. 


The company is composed of sober, industrious, enterprising men; and 
iD those times of close competition and business emulation, few succeed 
who do not by solid merit and earnest industry deserve success. Judg- 
ing of the future of this firm by their past record, they will continue to 
occupy a commanding position in both citiefi. George C. Probst is the 
superintendent, secretary, and treasurer of the Aurora branch. He is a 
native of Ripley County, Ind., and assumed the responsibitity of his 
present- position in 1881. 


Of these institutions there are two in Aurora, The First National and 
the Aurora National. 

The First National Bank of Aurora was authorized to commence 
business December 9, 1864, with a capital of $100,000, which afterward, 
was increased to $200,000. The first board of directors consisted of 
Thomas Gaff, James W. Gaff, Henry W. Smith, \V. E. Gibson, John J. 
Backman, Louis G. Hurlbert and Abram Lozier, Thomas Gaff was 
elected president, and Henry W. Smith, cashier. Mr. Smith, on account 
of other pressing business engagements, held the office but a short time, 
and was succeeded by John G. Kennedy, who held his position until 
November, 1868, when Elam H. Davis was elected cashier, and has held 
the office until the present time, a period of sixteen years. President 
Gaff continued to act as such until April 25, 1884, the date of his death, 
when Henry W. Smith was elected his successor. Of the original direc- 
tors, four, Messrs. Thomas Gaff, James W. Gaff, John J. Bachman and 
L. G. Hurlbert have died. The present board consists of the following 
named gentlemen: Henry W. Smith, president; William E. Gibson, 
vice-president; James W. Gaff, John A. Conwell, Abram Lozier and 
John McQuire. The history of the First National Bank of Aurora is one 
of unexampled prosperity. The high character of its projectors, their 
eminent financial abilities and their large resources gave the bank a 
prominent place among the strongest and most solid financial corpora- 
tions in the country, and during its long histoi'y nothing has occurred 
to shake or weaken it in the confidence and esteem of the public. Con- 
servative and prudent in all its business, and yet liberal so far as com- 
patible with perfect safety in meeting all the wants of the public. Dur- 
ing the great panic of 1873, when the banks all over the country were 
forced to suspend payment, the First National Bank of Aurora paid 
every check that was presented. The original organizers have mostly 
passed away, but the bank is still strong and safe in its resources and in 
the character of its officers. The bank was opened in a room on the 
second floor of what was known as the Kemp Building, and issued its 


first bills March 6, 1865. The present banking house is located on the 
northeast corner of Second and Mechanic Streets, and is a substantial 
building, constructed of brick in 1870, at a cost of about $10,000. 

The Aurora National i?a?i/c. —Early in 1883 several citizens of 
Aurora discussed the feasibility of opening a second bank in the city, 
and meeting with prompt encouragement the matter soon took definite 
shape. Capt. Alex B. Pattison received a letter from the comptroller 
at Washington the first week in April, authorizing himself and associ- 
ates to organize the Auroz-a National Bank, with a capital of $100,000 
and privilege to increase the same to three times that amount. The stock 
was rapidly taken up, and the organization was completed April 14, 
1883, by the election of Francis Wymond as president, W. F. Stevens, 
vice-president, and Alex B. Pattison, cashier. The president, who has 
long been identified with the business interests of Aurora, and was 
closely identified with many leading enterprises, was taken sick and died 
shortly after the opening of the bank. The present officers are Will- 
iam F. Stevens, president; George W. Mitchell, vice-president; Alex B. 
Pattison, cashier; J. C. Wymond, assistant cashier; W. F. Stevens, 
Robert Maybin, Thomas Johnson, T. W. Kestner, S. D. Langtree, 
George W. Mitchell, and J. C. Wymond, directors. There are thirty- 
three stockholders, largely composed of business men of this city. The 
banking house is located on the southeast corner of Second and Mechanic 


This substantial and elegant building is located in the center of the 
city, on the south side of Second Street, in the middle of the square, 
between Main and Mechanic Streets. The building is constructed of 
brick, and is three stories high, and has a frontage of 53 feet, with a 
depth of 106 feet. The auditorium is on the second floor, having a 
seating capacity of 950 persons; it is furnished with opera chairs, 
of a neat and comfortable pattern, arranged upon platforms of 
a graduated elevation, so that they will appear sloped from the 
rear of the hall, toward the stage. The aisle floors are covered with 
heavy matting. The stage has a front of about thirty feet, and a 
depth of twenty, and its appointments are comprehensive, and com- 
pletely in harmony with the rest of the building. It is supplied 
with a complement of scenery necessary to meet the demands of a 
first class theater or opera, two elegant and cosy little proscenium 
boxes, one on either side, and is altogether exceedingly well arranged, 
and properly lighted. The scene painting and frescoing is beautiful in 
design, and skillfully executed by some of Cincinnati's best artists. It 
is lighted with gas — a forty-four jet reflector in the center of the ceiling, 


together with the proscenium chandeliers and bracket lights, besides the 
ample foot lights and numerous burners on the stage, well supply the 
light. It is heated by two immense hot air furnaces. To the hall there 
is both a front and rear entrance, the former entrance being by means of 
a fire-proof stairway eight feet wide. The means of exit in case of an 
accident, or in any emergency, is certainly ample. The building is an 
ornament to the city, and stands a monument to the enterprise of its 
builders. It was built in 1878, by Messrs. Leive, Parks & Stapp, and 
opened in the evening of November 28 (Thanksgiving evening) of that 
year, by a lecture delivered by "Bob'' Burdette, on the subject of 


The following list of postmasters of Aurora, was prepared by George 
W. Lane: 

Edward Fairchilds, Elias Conwell, Daniel Bartholomew, Benjamin 

F. Ferris, Peter B. Vail, Samuel C. Reed, William Webber, Hiram L. 
Dean, Josephus Clark, Mrs. A. P. Clark, Henry Walker, John Walker, 
Harry Fisk. 


Aurora Lodge No. 51, A. F. & A. M., was instituted April 11, 1844, 
by Grand Master Abel C. Pepper, with sixteen charter members. The first 
officers were Michael D. Gear, W. M.; Asa Shattuck, S. W.; William 
Morrison, J. W. ; J. W. Weaver, secretary; John Langley, treasurer; R. 
Sopris, S. D. ; Joseph Buukey, J. D. ; Thomas J. Baily, Tyler. 

The present membership is sixty -three. The present officers are 
Robert McDowell, W. M. ; W. C. Henry, S. W. ; G. W. Trester, J. W. ; 
George Schaefer, treasurer; .F. A. Slater, secretary; Thomas H. Mc- 
Connell, S. D. ; F. W. Kassebaum, J. D. ; Romanus Roach, T. 

Aurora Chapter No. 13, R. A. M., was instituted by Abel C. Pepper, 

G. H. P. with nine charter members, September, 5, 1849. First offi- 
cers: R. Sopris, H. P.; J. W. Weaver, K. ; A. L. Bailey, S.; J. G. Hun- 
ter, C. N. ; Samuel Reed, P. S. ; J. F. Crider, R. A. C. ; William Green, 
Third Vail; A. B. Adams, Second Vail; J. B. Hall, First Vail; J. M. 
Hays, Guard. The present membership is sixty-two. The present 
officers are, A. N. Bradley, H. P. ; John Black, S. ; Robert Lyttle, P. S. ; 
M. J. Meyer G. M. Third Vail; L. B. Brown, G. M. First Vail; F. A. 
Slater, secretary; James M. Wheeler, K. ; J. C. Green, C. H. ; Robert 
Mayvin, R. A. C. ; James P. Coulter, G. M. Second Vail; W. C. 
Henry, treasurer; J. M. Newell, Guard. 

Aurora Commander ij No. 17, K. T.,- charter granted April 7, 1869. 
First officers: Thomas Pattison, E. C; W. Allen, — ; John A. Harpham, 
Captain of Guard; E. K. Long, E. P.; Hosea Harden, S. W.; James De 


Sanno, J, W. ; S. Paramore, treasurer; E. Hubbartt, recorder; T. J. Bai- 
ley, Warder. 

Dearborn Lodge No. 442, F. & A. M., was organized July 1, 1871, 
with twenty-five charter members, the charter being granted on the 29th 
day of May, 1872. The first officers were ' Charles Ager, W. M. ; John 
Walker, S. W.; H. W. Hurlbert, J. W.; S. Paramore, treasurer; Harry 
Pisk, secretary; John Sargent, S. D. ; William Kyle, J. D. ; Thomas J. 
Bailey, Tyler. The present membership is seventy-eight, with the fol- 
lowing officers now serving: Charles W, Loudon, P. W. M. ; James A. 
Riddell, S. W.; Hubert J. Marshall, J. W.; Robert Maybin, treasurer^ 
R. C. Mattox, secretary; Emil Severin, S. D. ; Charles M. Beinkamp, J. 
D. ; James M. Steele, R. W. Rees, Stewarts; James R. Miller, Tyler. 
The lodge room is located in the Mitchell Building, corner Second and 
Mechanic Streets, and owned by Mr. G. W. Michell. Aurora Chapter 
R. A. M., and Aurora commandery, K. T., also meet in one hall. 

John A. Piatt Post No. 82, G. A. R., was organized at the K. of P, 
Hall July 7, 1882, with twenty-five charter members. The first officers 
were Capt. Alex B. Pattison, P. C; Capt. H. P. Spoeth, S. V. P. C. ; L. E. 
Beincamp, Jr., V, P. C. ; C. K. Emrie, Q. M.; Dr. R. C.Bond, Surgeon; 
Rev. G. I. Reiche, Chap.; Robert Walsh, Officer of the Day; A. B. Hub- 
bartt, Officer of the Guard; Harry Fisk, Adjutant. 

Union Lodge No. 34, K. of P. , was organized June 4, 1873, by 
Charles P. Carty, G. K. of R. & S., and Charles Laner, P. C, of No. 
6, of Indianapolis, with W. G. Wheeler, P. C. ; R. B. Fowler, C. C. ; 
George W. Lamb, V. C. ; James Faulkner, P. ; B. F. Trester, Jr. , R. 
& S.; W. H. Trester, M. of F.; C. C. Trester, M. of E. ; H. G. Lam- 
kin, M. at A. ; George W, Trester, I. G., and John W. Lowe, O. G., as 
officers. C. C. Wheeler, James L. Marsh, William M. McCullum, Elias 
Frazier, Jacob Goenawein, R. W. Curtiss, and Charles Louden were the 
other members. Present membership sixty- four. 

Harmonia Lodge No. 69, K. of P., was instituted by Joseph Kuhl- 
man, D. D. G. C, of Lawrenceburgh, assisted by P. C. Henry Russe, 
and the members of Dearborn Lodge No. 49, on the 15th of March, 
1876. The officers and charter members were as follows: John Burk- 
hardt, P. C. ; August Frank, C. C. ; John Abeles, V. C. ; Charles Martin, 
P.; William Uley, K. of R. & S.; John Dennerline, M. of F. ; 
George Dennerline, M. of E. ; A. Himelricker, M. at A. ; John Buttner^ 
I. G. ; John Renner, O. G. ; George Trester, George W. Taylor. 


-^^c^ ^^^^ J^ac^, 

2 /2.^^3J<, 




Location and Description— Origin— Its Founders- The Early Vil- 
lage—Its Progress— Incorporation— Independence Day, 1834— 
Status of the Town in 1835-36— Picture of Main and Front 
Streets, 1833— Pen Picture of the Town in 1845— Steamboat Build- 
ing AND Boating— Early Postmasters— The Electro Magnetic 
Telegraph— Leading Manufacturing Interests— The National 
Bank— Churches— Schools— The Fire of 1866— The Fire of 1885— 
Cemeteries— Societies— The Rising Sun Insurance Company— The 
Centennial Fourth. 

RISING SUN is beautifully situated on the right bank of the Ohio 
River, ninety- six miles southeast of Indianapolis, and thirty-five 
miles a little west of south of Cincinnati, Ohio. It is located on what 
might be termed high bottom land, the ground gradually rising from the 
river bank to a distance of some 400 yards, and then gradually descend- 
ing to a small stream (dry branch of Arnold's Creek that nearly one-half 
surrounds the city;, at a distancejof at least two- thirds of a mile from the 
river; the ground then again gradually rises for a distance of half a mile 
to the foot of a range of hills which rise several hundred feet above low 
water in the Ohio at this place. As might be expected from such a situ- 
ation, the city is very healthy. This may, no doubt, be attributed to the 
fact that during the wet seasons the streets are almost invariably dry and 
clean, they being so situated that the water runs off immediately after it 
has fallen. The channel of the river at this point is close to the city, 
and boats of every class can land at any stage of water. In this respect 
the city possesses advantages over almost every other city along the river. 
The city is one mile square and is laid out in regular squares, the streets 
crossing each other at right angles; it is far above high water mark; has 
wide graveled streets and sidewalks, beautiful shady promenades, and its 
inhabitants are intelligent, industrious, and sociable. Its general ap- 
I^earance is favorable to all who visit it. A stroll throughout the city 
discloses the fact that there are but few reminders of the olden time in 
the way of dilapidated buildings. Many of the residences and business 
houses are really elegant, and nearly all are attractive. The streets, 
stores, churches, manufacturing establishments, and dwellings are neat 
and creditable. 



John James, an independent planter of Frederick County, Md. , im- 
migrated to the West in May, 1807, his family being conveyed in a flat- 
boat from Redstone, and landed in Lawrenceburgh in June following. 
He remained at that point two years, when, for the purpose of educating 
his children, he removed to Cincinnati, where, after a residence of two 
years, he removed to this place, December 25, 1811, being but a few 
weeks after the famous battle of Tippecanoe, which occurred in Septem- 
ber, 1811. In consequence of Indian hostilities prevalent at that time, 
and the frequent alarms of the settlement, to allay the fears of the fam- 
ily, he removed them to Louisville in May, 1812, one month previous to 
the declaration of war against Great Britain, while he and his eldest 
son, Pinkney, remained upon the ground. In the autvimn of 1813 the 
family were brought back to this point. In 1879 the late Henry James 
said: "In the fall of 1813 we returned to father and Pinkney at the set- 
tlement, and in the following spring, on the 30th day of May, we laid 
out Rising Sun. Father superintended, Pickney surveyed, and I carried 
one end of the chain, and another 'Negro' carried the other." * * 

Concerning this act, the records reveal the following: 

The town of Rising Sun is situated in the county of Dearborn, in the Indiana 
Territory, being laid out on Section 3 and fraction 2, Township 3 and Range 1. The 
aforesaid town is first laid off into blocks of twenty-four/ods on every side, and then 
an alley drawn through the center parallel with those streets which front the river. 
The blocks are then subdivided into twelve parts, each lot containing four rods in 
front, and eleven and a half rods deep; fronts are always to and from the river. 
There is a street running between every block, and are five rods wide. The alleys 
are but one rod wide. The lots situated between Front Street and the ^Ohio River 
are termed fractions, and are four rods front, and running each to the river. 

John James, Proprietor. 

Deaeborn County. ) 

Before me, Samuel Fulton, a justice assigned to keep the peace in and for said 
county, personally came John James, and made oath that the aforesaid expla- 
nation, together with the plat, is a true description of the town of the Rising Sun, 
as lately laid off by him. 

Sworn to before me this thirtieth day of May, in the year of our Lord, eighteen 
hundred and fourteen. Samuel Fulton. J. P. 

The orignal plat of the village included that portion of the city now 
situate between the river and Walnut Street, and between First and 
Fifth Streets, comprising ninety-six full and eighteen fractional lots. 
The original proprietor of this ground was Benjamin Chambers, who, on 
the 9th of April, 1801, with other land, entered from the United States 
Government that portion of Section 3 and fractional Section 2, on which 
the original plat was laid out. 



The proprietor, in order to promote the more rapid settlement of the 
town, gave all the lots on certain squares, except the corner lots, to immi- 
grants who would, within one year, erect a two-story log or frame house, 
with a brick or stone chimney, worth not less than $200. Said Mr. 
Henry James (deceased): "Thomas Lindsay erected a building on a lot 
and received a deed for it. The next day he came to father and re- 
quested a deed for the adjoining lot, saying that he had fulfilled the 
requirement. Father accompanied Mr. Lindsay to see the new building 
of mushroom growth, and found himself the victim of a joke. Mr. 
Lindsay had removed his house from the other lot over to this one, for 
which he claimed the deed. Father enjoyed the joke so well that he 
gave him the deed, and afterward added to his agreement a proviso that 
would prevent a serious recurrence of the joke." John James also do- 
nated a lot to each religious denomination, also the lot where the beauti- 
ful and imposing school building is erected; also, in 1828, the lot on 
which the seminary was erected and still stands, though since converted 
into a dwelling-house, and the lots where the old cemetery is located. 
Said Rev. B. F. Morris, in 1856: "He was a liberal man in all public 
enterprises, and was ambitions to found and build up a large and flour- 
ishing town. He died March 27, 1838, aged seventy-six years, and his 
wife, Martha James, July 21, 1821, aged fifty-seven years. "God's 
Acre," which they gave as a burial place for the dead, holds their mortal 
remains. They left, in their children and their children's children, 
numerous descendants, who occupy honorable and useful stations in so- 

"Col. Pinkney James, himself a pioneer,was a man of talent, enterprise, 
enlarged views, and devoted himself to the prosperity of this place. He 
built two cotton and woolen factories, which for years were in suc- 
cessful operation, and gave employment to some seventy-five persons. 
He did much to advance the interests of the place. He studied law, in 
early youth, with Judge Burnet, of Cincinnati, and was a member of the 
Legislature for a number of years from Dearborn County. He died De- 
cember 25, 1851, universally lamented. Another son of the proprietor 
of the town, Basil James, M. D., still living,* was one of the earlier phy- 
sicians of the place, having studied medicine under Dr. Daniel Drake, of 
Cincinnati. His zeal and success in promoting the cause of education in 
Rising Sun are evidences of his intelligent public spirit and moral 
worth. Another son, Henry James, still living,f also labored energet- 
ically to promote the interests of the place. He has built twenty-four 

*Dr. James died Aug. 8, 1877. 
fHenry James died in 1S80. 


dwelling houses and three mills in and near Eising Sun, opened and 
improved farms,and co-operated in the public improvements of this place." 


In the historical discourse of Rev. B. F. Morris, delivered in the 
Presbyterian Church at Rising Sun, September 15, 1856, it is stated 
that " during several years subsequent to the location of this town, the 
tide of immigration flowed into the place, and valuable and permanent 
citizens established themselves in business and professional pursuits. In 
1813, Walter Smith and family (whose daughter is Mrs. Joshua Haines), 
and Jonah Smith. In 1814 Caleb Craft, Henry Weis, James A. Walton, 
and their families. In 1815 Prince Athearn and family, Abel C. Pep- 
per, Shadrach Hathaway [still living at the advanced age of ninety-one 
years, on the site he purchased of Mr. James, and on which he reared 
his cabin shoe shop in the "forest primeval" and amid the red men, 
longer ago than has been allotted to man, upward of seventy years. 
Here he dwells, hale, hearty, and cheerful, the last of his line, living as 
a connecting link between the past and present. What change has he 
witnessed! What progress! Ninety odd years of well spent time! How 
grand to contemplate! Ed.], N. Miller and family, Joel Decoursey, 
M. McHeuston and James Hayden. Mr. Hayden was the first regular 
physician ; he studied medicine with Dr. Drake, of Cincinnati, and first 
practiced medicine with Dr. Hagerman, of Hamilton, Butler County, 
Ohio. He married on the 27th of November, 1818, Harriet James, 
daughter of the proprietor, and died on the 8th of July, 1823. In 1816 
Archibald Moore and the twin brothers, Joshua and Mathias Haines, the 
latter of whom was for more than thirty years a popular physician, and 
is still living,* the venerable and beloved patriarch of the profession, 
whose life and labors have blessed this whole region. Moses, Daniel and 
Philip Tapley, three brothers, immigrated in 1818. These immigrants 
and the others previously noticed,were chiefly instrumental in giving pros- 
perity and character to the town; they took a deep interest in founding 
and fostering schools, and in laying the foundations of steady and solid 
growth to the place. As venerable pioneers, some like aged trees left to 
tell of a former forest, still remain to remind us of the times passed 
away, and their numerous descendants, filling useful stations in society, 
are honorable certificates of their own good influences and characters." 

The village was laid out in a dense forest with underbrush growing 
so thickly that one could with difiiculty penetrate it. The river front 
was more grand and beautiful than now. Fifty odd years ago a writer 
in one of the Cincinnati papers thus referred to it: "The town is sur- 

*Since deceased. 


rounded by large forest trees, which furnish a cool and refreshing shade 
from the summer's heat. The favorite promenade ground, situated on 
the bank of the river, extends either way, up or down, as far as any per- 
son may feel inclined to walk. The bank is overhung by huge and 
gigantic sycamores and the wide-spreading branches of the elm, together 
with a variety of other trees, afford a very pleasant and uninterrupted 
shade, which combined with a constant breeze from the river, must 
render a walk very grateful. Upon the whole, I believe it to be one of 
the most desirable places for a residence that I have yet seen in the 
valley of the Mississippi. The moral condition of the place is excellent. 
The citizens generally are intelligent and enterprising, and the facilities 
of education are abundant. Commercial business is carried on to a con- 
siderable extent, and the mechanics seem to be prospering. I would also 
add, that the place is surrounded by a rich and fertile country, and 
occupied and owned by substantial farmers. And from the general view 
I have taken of Rising Sun, I can scarcely anticipate anything that can 
retard or check the progressive improvement of that interesting village." 

Standing on the brow of the hill at the river bank in early morn, 
resting the eye on the majestic stream beneath and to the far off Ken- 
tucky hills stretching for miles along its course, and to the opposite, 
nearer and higher elevations, one can readily imagine, in viewing a sun- 
rise amid such beauty and grandeur, the simple poetic impulse that could 
have suggested to the old Marylander the name the city has since borne. 

The first merchant of the village was Caleb A. Craft, who, the same 
year the village was laid out, erected a log-house on Lot No. 2, which 
contained but one room, in which he kept tavern and store. It is said 
that in December, 1814, Mr. Craft built on the same lot a hewed log- 
house of two rooms. The upper one was used as a sleeping room; in one 
corner of the lower room was a store and in another was a bar, 
liquor then being not in such disrepute as now. This building stands 
on Front Street near Fifth, and is still known as the Craft property. Mr. 
Craft was also the first postmaster of Rising Sun. His death occurred 
May 30,1849. Mr. S. Hathaway, still living in Rising Sun, purchased of 
John James, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the corner lot on Front and Fourth 
Streets, paying for it $100, on which he moved a two-story log-house 
in 1815 and occupied it as a shoe shop for five years, when he engaged in 
the mercantile business with Mr. Craft, they occupying the Craft Build- 
ing. Mr. S. Hathaway has been one of the city's most extensive business 
men, and, perhaps, by far the longest in business of any who have ever 
carried on biisiness in the city. Although now upward of ninety-one 
years of age, he can be found every day at his shoe shop on Main Street 
near Front, working on the bench made for him by Prince Athearn, in Cin- 
cinnati, in 1814. 


An Emigrant's Directory, published in 1817, thus alludes to the 
village: "Rising Sun is delightfully situated on the second bank of the 
Ohio, with a gradual descent to the river. It contains thii-ty or forty 
houses and is half way between Vevay and Lawrenceburgh. It has 
a postoffice and a floating mill anchored abreast of the town. It has had 
a very rapid growth, and will probably become a place of considerable 

Of the early additions to the village one was made by John James, 
acknowledged September 7, 1816, seventy- eight lots, bounded by High 
Street and Columbia Street; one by James Graham and wife, Mary, 
acknoweledged May 21, 1838, thirty-two full and seven fractional lo^ 
situated southwest of the original plat; one by Basil James acknowl- 
edged May 9, 1836, "being a continuation of Walnut Street and the alley 
between Walnut and High Street, and in lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 
11 lying south of First and west of Walnut to the alley as in the 
plat." * * 

In the State Gazetteer published in 1833, it is stated that "Rising 
Sun contains about 600 inhabitants, four stores, one tavern, one grist- 
mill propelled by steam power, one seminary and one church with a 
number of mechanics of various trades." 

The first well dug in the village was at the Jelley tanyard, at the 
lower end of the place; it was some sixty feet deep and had a boarded 
log pump-stock, and is the same well that in the flood of 1832, the bot- 
tom fell out as it was termed, and all the water over and around the tan- 
nery, when the river began to recede, went down with a great roar and 
whirl until all was swallowed up and the yard left clear. The second 
well was on the upper side of Front and Second Streets, dug by John 
James, the proprietor of the town; it was walled up with brick, was 
seventy feet deep, boxed up, and the water drawn with a windlass. The 
third well was dug at the corner of Poplar and Second Streets, near the 
foot of the bridge opposite the McGuffin property; it was about seventy 
feet deep, walled up with stone and worked with a windlass. 


The town of Rising Sun was incorporated September 1, 1817, under 
"an act providing for the incorporation of towns in the State of Indiana" 
approved January 1, 1817. The first board of trustees was elected Sep- 
tember 8, 1817, who were Dr. Mathias Haines, Moses Tapley, Joel De 
Coursey, Henry Hayman and Samuel Jelley. 


The fifty- seventh anniversary of American Independence was cele- 


brated at Eising Sun in a very becoming manner. The day was ushered 
in by the firing of a national salute between daylight and sunrise, from 
a six-pounder, stationed on the bank of the river. 

At 11 o'clock the citizens of the town and a great number from the 
country assembled at the seminary, where a procession was formed un- 
der the direction of Joel Decoursey, Esq., marshal of the day. The 
procession marched from the seminary down Grand Street to Front to 
Maine and up Maine Street to the Presbyterian Church; where the 
Throne of Grace was invoked by the Rev. James Jones; the Declaration 
of Independence read by Col. Pinkney James, and an oration pro- 
nounced by Mr. B. F. Clark, the whole accompanied by national airs. 

From the church the procession marched up Main to High Street, 
down High to Second Street, down Second to Front Street and up Front 
Street to the hotel, where the company sat down to a splendid and sump- 
tuous dinner, prepared by J. C. Waggener. 

After dinner the following toasts were drank, accompanied by loud 
and repeated cheers, music and guns. Dr. Mathias Haines, president of 
the day, having been called from the table. Col. Pinkney James was 
appointed president pro tern who was assisted by John Neal, Esq., as vice 


The following articles from the Rising Sun Times of September 12, 
1835, and November 12, 1836, respectively, exhibit the condition of the 
town at that period: 

"We have heretofore alluded to the astonishing amount of business 
transacted in this village, and yet it would seem that our town is little 
known abroad. This arises, no doubt, from the fact that our citizens 
have not been seized with the great mania for railroads and canals; and 
have not made a great noise in order to bring their town into public no- 
tice. While others have been quarreling about roads and canals, our 
citizens have been assiduously engaged in erecting manufactories, and 
improving the town; strangers are struck with surprise on entering our 
village, when they see our landing crowded with flat-boats, and our 
streets almost impassable with wagons, loading and unloading the pro- 
ducts of this section of the country. For three weeks past Front and Main 
Streets have resembled the business streets of Cincinnati, and flat boats 
are leaving our town almost daily. Our merchants and mechanics are 
trading on a sound and healthy capital — what they have is their own; 
they have no bank to run to, nor are they pressed for means to carry 
on their business. The two steam flour-mills in this place have pur- 
chased about 12,.000 bushels of wheat since last harvest; for which near- 
ly all cash has been paid, at $1 per bushel. We would like to know 


what town in Indiana has paid out as much cash for a single article 
this season. Rising Sun is now, we believe, as great a business place 
as any other in the eastern part of the State; and she will soon be 
ahead of all, and it is altogether owing to the industry and enterprise of 
our citizens. 

"We have contemplated a notice of our village for some time past, 
but it has been deferred until the present, which we conceive a very 
good time, as by giving a correct statement of the business of the place, it 
may induce mechanics, tradesmen, etc., to invest some of their capital at 
the sale of lots advertised to take place on the first of next month, and 
become actual settlers. Rising Sun is most beautifully situated on the 
bank of the Ohio River, in Dearborn County, Ind. It has been said that 
a better situation for a town is not to be found on the river from its 
head to its mouth. The high water of 1832 was not out of the banks at 
this place. The town has always been remarkable for its health, as has 
also the surrounding country. The country for miles back is settled by 
wealthy, industrious and intelligent farmers, which, of course, is much 
in favor of the present and future prosperity of the town. The popu- 
lation of Rising Sun is between 1,000 and 1,200. It contains 1 cotton 
factory, 2 merchant flouring-mills, and one in the vicinity, each running 
three pair of buhrs, and all driven by steam power, 2 taverns, 9 dry goods 
stores, 1 book and drug store, 1 clothing store, 1 boot and shoe store, 3 
grocery and liquor stores, 2 grocery and provision stores, 2 practicing 
physicians, 1 lawyer, 1 silversmith and jeweler, 1 printing office, 1 
hat factory, 1 chair factory, 3 saddlers, 4 tailors, 4 cabinet-makers, 6 or 
8 carpenters and joiners, 2 shoe-makers, 6 coopers, 2 blacksmiths, 2 tin 
and sheet iron ware factories, 2 stone- ware potteries, 1 tannery, 4 brick- 
layers and plasterers, 1 house, sign and ornamental painter, 1 painter 
and glazier, 1 soap factory, 1 carding machine, 1 extensive tobacco and 
cigar factory, 2 lumber merchants, 2 wagon makers, 4 draymen, 1 mar- 
ket house, 3 houses of public worship — 1 for the Methodists, 1 for the 
Presbyterians and 1 for the Reformers, a fire and marine insurance com- 
pany, a town seminary, and also the Indiana Teacher's Seminary, an 
institution incorporated by the State is located in this village. * * 
* All are doing a good business. 

"In addition to the trade of the town, the amount of country produce 
and articles manufactured by our mechanics, and annually shipped down 
the river, is immense. These articles comprise principally cabinet ware, 
stone-ware, tin-ware, chairs, molasses barrels, tobacco, cigars, wagons, 
etc. One thing in particular deserves to be said in praise of the indus- 
try and business of the place, and that is all are trading upon their own 
capital. While other towns are favored with bank facilities, and drive 


their trade on fictitious capital, our merchants, mechanics, tradesmen, 
etc. , have the actual capital, and little or no bank accomodations are 
asked for. Another thing may be said of our town much to its advant- 
age. We allude to our schools. The Rising Sun Seminary is a plain 
but spacious building, capable of accomodating nearly, if not all, the 
children in the town. In this institution, all the branches of a common 
education for males and females are taught, and young men prepared to 
enter college. We understand it is the intention of the trustees of the 
Teachers' Seminary to erect in the course of next summer, a large and 
commodious building for that institution. At present it is kept in one 
of the rooms of the Rising Sun Seminary. This institution is mainly 
designed to educate young men for the business of professional teach- 
ers. Two steamboats have been built at this place and owned by citi- 
zens. One of them plies as a daily packet between Rising Sun and Cin- 
cinnati. A third one will be finished here next spring. The prices for 
all kinds of mechanical industry are high, as also the wages of laborers. 
And, in fine, prosperity reigns over our village and the surrounding 
country in as high a degree as over any other section of the West." 


The following articles appeared in the Rising Sun Local, under 
dates of February 10 and 24, 1883, under the title of " Main and Front 
Streets Fifty Years Ago." They were written by the Hon. S. F. Coving- 
ton, of Cincinnati, Ohio: 

^'Main Street. — As you have been kind enough to give us former res- 
idents of Rising Sun a picture of Main Street as it now is, thus remind- 
ing us of the good old town and reviving pleasing recollections of it, I 
have thought that it might interest some of the present residents to know 
how Main Street looked some fifty years ago or thereabouts. I cannot at 
this late day be positive as to dates, but will approximate as nearly as my 
memory will serve me. Beginning as you did, at the stone landing, my 
recollection is that it was constructed in 1838, by Marcus D. Lykins, who 
died in Covington, Ky., about a year since. Previous to the making of 
the stone landing, there was a solid wooden crib built about half way 
from the top of the bank to low water, which was some fifteen feet high 
on the river side, and the road above was graveled to it. From this crib 
the road was graded and supported by crib-work up stream, at an angle 
of about forty -five degrees to the main crib, to low water mark. It made 
a good wharf, and the stone landing was no improvement upon it. Tal- 
bott's Mill, built by Moses Turner, stood in a deep recess where the bank 
had caved in. When first built the level of the basement floor, on the 
side next to the river, was ten feet or more above the level of the ground 


outside. Where ' Fairview' stands, was a small frame building on a 
line with Front Street, occupied by Dr. B. James as a drug store. The 
open space on the river bank was a good place to look at steamboats, and 
was generally occupied when one was passing. The high water of 1832 
came just to the top of the bank at this point. The frame on the alley 
above Walnut Street, described by you as being occupied by Doc Wood, 
I think is the same building that occupied the present site of Fairview. 
The corner you now describe as being occupied by a log-house that was 
afterward removed to the southeast corner of Grand and High Streets, 
and occupied by Benjamin Hoag for many years, and afterward by Sam- 
uel Berkshire, a prominent colored citizen and no doubt still remem- 
bered by many. Upon the removal of the log-house, Haines & Lanius 
erected in 1826 the brick building, which was burned in 1866. Next 
west of this was a small frame building, occupied about 1833-34 by 
Bennett & Morgan for a hat shop. At the corner of the alley above 
this was a double one-story frame dwelling, originally occupied by 
Thomas Bradley. Adjoining this on the east was a like building, 
occupied by J, F. Harrison as a shoe shop, and John Baxter, still a res- 
ident, worked in it. The brick buildings below this and adjoining the 
comer building, that was burned in 1866, were erected in 1834 or 1835. 
Squire Decoursey's residence occupied the opposite side of the 
alley, standing back some thirty feet or more from the street. The old 
frame above Colter's was first a large tobacco warehouse, and afterward 
fitted up in front for a dry goods store by Decoursey & Richardson. The 
shop now occupied by Henry Kurr was occupied by Squire Philip East- 
man as a saddler shop, and the brick dwelling next was his residence. 
The frame dwelling next was the residence of the widow of Mr. George 
Jones, who afterward married Squire Caleb Campbell. The corner 
above had on it a small frame dwelling which was usually occupied as a 
whisky shop until about 1839-40, when the brothers Niles, built a 
better house and occupied it as a tin shop. The present 'Riverside 
House,' was built by Moore & Pepper in 1827-28, for a dry goods store. 
They had previously occupied a frame building on the same site for 
the same purpose. The present office of the hotel was built by 
W. and J. O'Neal, about 1831, for a dry goods store. Between 
this and Mrs. Best's residence was a small frame building, at 
one time occupied as a tailor shop by Willis Miles, and at another by 
Andi-ew Naileigh as a tin shop. The present residence of Mrs. Best was 
occupied by Col. S. S. Scott, who had at the time of his death, which 
occurred of cholera in 1833, a dry goods store in the frame building on 
Front Street next south of the 'Riverside.' At that time the lot was vacant 
up to a one- story frame house on the corner of the alley, which had 


been from time immemorial a whisky shop. It was among the first 
houses built in the town, and was for many years kept by Banks & Davis. 
I have been told by an old-time resident that at one time Oliver H. 
Smith (who was afterward a member of Congress from your district, and 
United States senator from Indiana), read law in that building while 
acting in the capacity of bar-keeper. The double brick building now 
occupying the site was erected about 1833-34. 

"On the corner where McAroy's drug store now stands was a large 
frame building, in which, fifty years ago, Robert Best had his saddle 
and harness shop. Soon after it was occupied by Mapes & Armstrong as 
a chair factory. The ground was vacant between the chair factory and 
the present Bloss bakery. This last named building is one of the oldest 
in the town and was built by Banks & Davis. There is enough of inter- 
est connected with the history of that house alone to make an article 
quite as long as you would care to publish in a single issue. Its upper 
story was for a long time occupied as a Masonic lodge, and it was so 
occupied at the time of the Morgan disappearance. Enoch Drake can tell 
all about that, and he isprobably the only Mason living that worked in that 
lodge room. The first newspaper printed in Rising Sun was printed in 
that room. It has been used for balls, for dancing schools, and for 
religious meetings. L. W. Lynn occupied it for a schoolroom. It was 
at one time a favorite resort for the boys that wanted a quiet little game 
of 'old sledge' or 'picayune poker' — but I must not stop here to tell all 
about this house, but follow you on. There was no house between that 
and the corner until Mr. Scranton built the little one story frame tailor 
shop adjoining. The only building on Lot No. 06 (now so well covered 
by Espey's corner, the bank, the residences and the Presbyterian Church, 
until 1833, when the church was built), was a log- house that stood on 
Market Street, at the north side of the lot, and occupied by John T. 
Austin, whom some of your older citizens will remember as a character. 
The frame dwelling occupied now by John Williamson, was occupied by 
'Mr. John Tait as a residence. Above that was the brick building now 
occupied by Maj. Anderson, built by Capt. E. G. Brown. Those two, I 
think, were the only buildings on this lot. 

" Following you back to the corner of Market Street, Gibson's corner 
was occupied by a frame dwelling house, in which resided Mrs. Laurena 
Love, a sister of Mrs. S. Best. This, however, was more than fifty 
years ago, as Mrs. Love was married to Deacon P. P. Baldwin in 1833, 
at which time she was residing in the house already stated as once the 
residence of Thomas Bradley. The next house on the lot was the brick 
building on the corner of the alley, the lower story of which was used by 
Squire John Neal for a blacksmith shop, and the upper story as a 


public hall, in which was held religious services, balls, dancing schools 
and traveling shows of various kinds. The Garey Building was erected 
less than fifty years ago. I remember the fact, but cannot fix the date, 
when the only house between the alley and Walnut Street was a frame 
blacksmith shop occupied by Summers & Root. This was before 1832, 
as Mr. Summers removed to Patriot that year. Mrs. Peck's house was 
built in 1832-33, by Marcus D. Lykins, and long occupied by him as a 
residence. On the Summers corner was a brick building occupied by 
Zadock Wood, who had his cooper shop about midway of the block on the 
opposite side of the street. There was no building between that and 
High Street. On the opposite was the present city hall, which you call 
the Wilber corner. The upper story of this building was used for night 
school and writing school, also for religious worship by the Christians 
before they erected the church edifice on Walnut Street between Grand 
and Fifth Streets. The frame building next above was occupied by 
Squire Bennet as a residence and court room, and the brick building next 
above by Samuel Best, Jr., as a residence. These were the only build- 
ings on Main Street at that time between Market and High Streets. Fifty 
years ago there were no buildings on the west side or west of High Street. 
All that territory now occupied as dwellings was then cultivated fields, 
inclosed with staked and rided fences. A lane extended from the Dry 
Branch to High Street, and it was a favorite race track. Hardly a Sat- 
turday passed, when the road would admit of it, that there was not a 
horse race there. Amos T. Coyle used to pride himself on having the 
fastest horses in the country, and James Dyer, who I believe is still liv- 
ing, a staid and sober citizen of Switzerland County, and who was rec- 
ognized as the best jockey in the vicinity, usually rode Coyle's horses 
in the races. 

" Front Street. — While endeavoring to draw a comparison between 
Front Street fifty years ago and your report of its present appearance, I 
must be allowed a little latitude, and not be kept down to the exact date 
within a year or two either way. If you don't think it pretty hard to 
remember incidents and appearances fifty years back, please try it when 
you get old enough to make the efifort. From a point at the foot of Will, 
iam Street all the way to the mouth of Arnold's Creek, the river bank 
was lined with large trees, chiefly sycamore and elm. Where the Porter 
Hunt House and the Seward Saw-mill stand was a slash grown up with 
witch-hazel and similar undergrowth. A great deal of the river bank has 
been washed away, amounting, as it appears to me, to several hundred feet. 
Mr. Piatt Thompson, father of Capt. Joseph Thompson, lived in a house 
not far from a line of William Street extended, which then stood some 
distance from the bank, but the foundations of which, I presume, have 


long since fallen into the river. In front of this and below, down along 
the timber, was once a famous fishing ground, and Arty Thompson, in 
his boyhood days, gathered in many an eleven pence and quarter for the 
nice perch he caught there. 

"Outside of the little brick you now mention stood the frame black- 
smith shop of David Love, who moved to his farm near the mouth of 
Grant's Creek in 1832. Bennett and Morgan, still well remembered, 
came to Rising Sun that year and started a hat shop in the building. 
The little brick was built by Joseph Mauck, and occupied by him as a 
gunsmith shop. He afterward moved to Kentucky. He was the father 
of Stephen Mauck, who formerly kept the ferry. First Street was not 
then cut down in front of either of those houses. There was 'a good 
wide road between the frame and river bank, extending down for half 
a mile or more, and which was often used for a race track. 'Quarter 
Nag' races were quite common in those days. Front Street did not then 
extend below First Street, as now, and the road down the river led 
around the hat shop to the river bank. The tanyard and Jelley home- 
stead siood there then as now, excepting only the inroads and ravages 
that time has placed upon them. There were no houses on the east side 
of Front Street, between First and Second, until the mill at the corner 
of Front and Second was built, about 1834-35. The property you des- 
ignate as the old Benjamin Morgan property was owned and occupied 
by John B. Craft, who afterward sold it to Capt. John Tait, who resided 
there many years. The high water of 1832 and 1847 came up to this 
corner so that one could not pass around it [the highwater of 1883 stood 
six inches on the floor of this house. — Ed. Localj. The frame next was 
occupied by William Elliott. The double brick was built some years 
later by Albert and Mortimer Dunning, who also built the Dunning 
House on Main Street. Squire Bennett occupied a frame house that 
stood next. What is now known as the Lindsay House was then the 
residence and office of Dr. Matthias Haines, a pioneer physician and a 
man universally respected and esteemed as a physician and citizen. 
Across the street, the old Jamieson property, the corner room was occu- 
pied by William Cullen as a grocery and dram shop, and the rest of the 
house as a family residence. The brick next was occupied by Mrs Hay- 
den, mother of Judge John J. Hayden, and her father, Mr. John James, 
proprietor of the town. The frame next was occupied by Col. Pepper, 
who afterward traded with his partner, Mr. A Moore, for the three- story 
brick, into which he moved, Mr. Moore moving into the frame. The 
next which was part log and, part frame, was occupied by Mr. John 
Lanius as a residence and hat shop. When Gen. Jackson was elected 
President in 1828, Mr. Lanius was appointed postmaster, in place of 


C. A. Craft, and removed the postoffice to that house. Then comes the 
three story brick which has a history. It was built by Daniel Brown, 
who for more than fifty years ago, kept a store in it; Brown afterward 
owned and commanded steamboats on the Ohio, Mississippi and Alabama 
Rivers. He was long suspected of counterfeiting the notes of the United 
States Bank, and was finally arrested and imprisoned in New Orleans, 
where he died before being tried. Brown was a very gentlemanly man 
in manners and appearance, and as his conduct here was always ex- 
emplary, the older citizens always spoke of him respectfully. The 
upper story of his house was fitted up for a Masonic lodge room, and 
so occupied before the lodge removed to the Bloss House on Main Street, 
the approach being by an outside stair-way at the south end of the 
building. After the Presbyterians got into their own house the Chris- 
tians used it under the ministrations of the late venerable James Challen. 
When Masonry revived in 1842-43, it was again used as a lodge room, 
until in 1844, the present lodge room was erected. Several of the now 
'old Masons' received their degrees in that room. It was also used for 
balls, and club meetings. The famous 'Tippecanoe Club' of 1840 held 
its meetings in that room. Capt. Brown's residence was built at 'a time 
when the memory of a man runneth not to the contrary ; ' away back in 
the twenties Col. S. S. Scott kept the 'Commodore Perry Inn' in it. In 
front of the house was a pole some fifteen feet high with a frame work 
on top, within which swung a board sign some 5x3 feet, on each side of 
which was painted what was supposed to be a portrait of Commodore 
Perry, with uniform epaulets, sword and cocked hat, and the famous 
motto, 'Don't give up the ship.' The house was occupied under differ- 
ent administrations for many years as a hotel. Among its proprietors I 
remember Col. Scott, Samuel Howard, Mr. Snider, Capt. John C. Wag- 
goner, who first kept the ferry, then the hotel, and then was the first 
captain of the first steamboat built at Rising Sun. James R. Read was 
mate, John H. Jones was clerk and Mr. William Goldson was engineer, on 
the 'Alpha,' and all are still living. Coming back to the tavern, it was kept 
for several years by Mr. A. Rector. It was always well kept and fur- 
nished the Fourth of July and other important dinners. The frame 
next adjoining was in the olden time occupied as a dry goods store by 
Samuel Howard, and afterward by Col. Scott, who, as mentioned in a 
former article, had a store there at the time of his death. The John C. 
Miller House was built in 1831 by Mr. John James, who, with his 
daughter, Mrs. Hayden, occupied it as a residence for many years. The 
Whitlock property and the building next east of it were built the suc- 
ceeding year, the first by Dr. B. James, who occupied it as a residence, 
and the other by Capt. Henry James, who built it for a store. Its first 


occupancy was by Harvey and George Green as a hat store and shop. 
Some years later Capt. James fitted it up as a residence and occupied it 
for several years. The high water of 1832 and 1847 came just to the 
top of the bank in front of these houses, and at Second Street it came 
over the bank up to Front Street. As I have now reached Main Street, 
a good dividing line, I find this article proving too long, and probably 
tedious, so I will leave the rest of Front Street to be described at some 
future time." 


Rising Sun, forty years ago, is fully pictured to the youth of today 
in the following sketch extracted from the Blade of January 1, 1845. 

"From 1814, to the present time, its growth, though not as rapid as 
many Western towns, has been steady. Each succeeding year has 
added something to it; and now we can boast, that, although there are 
many houses of respectable old age, there is not a single one in a dilapi- 
dated condition, and not one without her occupant. 

"Most of the houses which have been built, for several years, are of 
brick; and although we have no residences or public buildings remark- 
able for their structure, yet all are substantially and conveniently built; 
with, also, a proper regard to taste. There is one fact, in relation to the 
houses of Rising Sun, which goes to show the prosperity of the town, 
and that is, that nine tenths of the occupants of the business and dwell- 
ing houses are the owners. ******** 

"As a place of business, Rising Sun is not surpassed by any town of 
its size in the West. The surrounding country is rich in soil, and the 
occupants are men of sterling worth. A poor farm or an indolent 
farmer is something rarely to be met with in the vicinity. As may be 
inferred, from what has been said, the surrounding country is in a high 
state of cultivation, and we are glad to record that the many good farm 
houses and capacious barns furnish us strong evidence that the husband- 
man is repaid for his labor. The corporation's indebtedness is about 
1600. The amount of revenue to be collected in this year is $289.54. 
The levy on real and personal property for 1844 is 12 cents on the 
$100. Valuation and poll-tax 25 cents." 

Churches. — The churches of the town were the Christian, the house 
of worship being situated on Walnut Street, between Grand and Fifth; 
the two Presbyterian (old and new school), the former located on Second 
Street (now the Zion, coloi'ed, house of worship), and the other the pres- 
ent house of worship on Main Street; and the Universalist, building on 
Grand Street. 

Societies. — The Rising Sun Bible Society, organized in 1842; Friend- 
ship Lodge No. 4, Rising Sun Masonic Lodge No. 6. 



Washington Temperance Society, of Rising Sun, was organized Janu- 
ary 19, 1842. The first lectures delivered in the town by the Washington- 
ians were by Messrs. Fishpool and Thomas Brown. In 1845 the society 
numbered 702 members, and was officered by Samuel Jelley, president; 
B. J. Hathaway, recording secretary. 

This society swallowed up the old temperance society of the place. 
In 1845 it was stated: "As some evidence of the efifect which it has had 
upon the community, we may state that there is not a single place in 
town at which ardent spirits are retailed." The board of commissioners 
of the county of Ohio, at their first sitting, in June, 1844, upon the 
unanimous petition of the citizens of the town, passed an order that no 
license for retailing ardent spirits within the town of Rising Sun should 
be granted for the term of five years from the date thereof. 

The Rising Sun Lyceum organized November 1844. The following 
year it was officered as follows: President, Daniel Tapley; secretary, S. 
F. Covin o-ton; treasurer, L. W. Lynn; curator, Joseph Hoole. The 
membership consisted of thirty persons, who met every Monday evening 
at the seminary. 

Schools. — The Rising Sun Seminary located on Grand Sti-eet. Fe- 
male school, Miss Sarah T. Morrison, principal. The public schools — 
136 scholars, C. S. Horton, teacher, assisted by Mrs. Harrison. Mrs. 
Rose's school for small children. 

Industries. Flouring-mill and distillery of Lanius & Athearn, which 
consumes annually, 90,000 bushels of grain, and fattens annually, 3,000 

The Rising Sun Cotton-mills, corner Front and Fifth Streets, propri- 
etor, P. James, runs 700 spindles, averaging daily 350 pounds of cotton 
yarn, also makes daily seventy- five pounds of batting; superintended 
by VV. Goldson; fourteen power looms, averaging 3,000 yards O. S. nab- 
rugs per week, superintended by I. Schofield; three sets wool cards, su- 
perintended by E. Roberts; a finishing shop is also connected with the 
mills, superintended by George Beatty. The mills give employment to 
forty-five hands, and consumes annually 260 bales of cotton. 

The Risino' Sun Iron Foundry, proprietors Messrs. James & Stedman, 
manufacture castings of every description; made during the past year, 
twenty-eight hay screws, averaging 1,600 pounds each. Foundry em- 
ploys five hands, and consumes sixty tons of pig metal annually. 

The manufactures of the town consume annually 25,000 bushels of 

Five thousand head of hogs have been packed here this season. 
A Hoover's brick yard on the corner of Front & William Streets, 
made last year over 400,000; is making arrangements for burning 


1,000,000 next year. In addition to this he will have his saw-mill in op- 
eration by April 1, and will be prepared to furnish lumber for building 
to any amount. 

W. Burright's brick yard, corner of Front & Plum Streets, made last 
year 250,000; is making arrangements for burning twice as many this 

Physicians. — Dr. John Morrison, residence at La Place, three miles 
below town, on the river; office at Hathaway's drug store. 

Dr. I. Evans, residence southwest corner Main and High Streets; 
office west side of Main Street, near Front. 

Dr. M. Haines, residence and office west of Front, between Pennsyl- 
vania and Second Streets. 

Dr. B. James, residence and office, Front Street, between Main and 

Dr. J. P. Ulrey, dentist, residence west side of Market Street, between 
Main and Second. 

Attorneys at Laiv. — Gazlay & Downey, office at the clerk's office. 

Postoffice. — Located at the corner of Third and Main Streets, John 
W. Hall, postmaster. 

Insurance Agents. — Indiana Mutual Fire Insurance Company, char- 
tered January 30, 1837, John H. Jones, agent. 

W. T. Laraden, agent for Hartford Protective and Marine Insurance 

Dry Goods. — S. Hathaway, corner of Front and Grand Street; Craft 
& Lynn, east side of Front Street, between Main and Grand; H. D. 
Hamilton, No. 2 Main Street; John W. Hall & Co., No. 3 Main Street; 
Stirratt & Wells, No. 4 Main Street; W. Miles, merchant tailor. No. 5 
Main Street; T. Kimpton, west side of Main Street, three doors from 
Front; A. North & Son, northwest corner of Main and Market Streets. 

John McKnight, northwest corner of Main and Walnut Streets. 

Groceries and Produce. — D. Fisher, Front Street, two doors east of 
Main. Alexander Jamison, southwest corner Main and Market Streets; 
Thomas Summers, northeast corner of Main and Market Streets. 

Storage and Commission. — Craft & Lynn, east side of Front, be- 
tween Main and Grand Streets; T. Lindsay, corner Front and William 

Drug Store. — B. J. Hathaway, Front Street, three doors below Grand. 

Hotels. — Washington Hotel, by A. Rector, Front Street, near the 
corner of Main; Rising Sun Hotel, by George Carpenter, Front, be- 
tween Main and Second Streets; boarding and private entertainment, by 
Mrs. Runyon; on Front Street, between Main and Grand. 

Silversmith and Jeioeler. — Samuel Best, east side of Main, Walnut 
and High Streets. 


Cabinet Maker. — W. E. Hoole, west side of Main Street, near the 
river; J. T. Whitlock, west side of Main Street, opposite Presbyterian 

Chair Manufacturers. — W. H. Mapes, west side of Main Street, near 
the river; John Young, west side of Main Street, nearly opposite the 
Presbyterian Church. 

Boots and Shoes. — George B. Hall, east side of Front Street, between 
Main and Grand; John S. Baxter, east side of Front, between Main and 
Second; J. A. Clark & Co., Maiu, two doors from Front Street; Thomas 
Davis, east side of Main, between Main and Market. The shops afiford 
employment for twenty-hve hands. 

Blacksmiths. — James Tait, northwest corner of Market and Main 
Streets; W. H. Neal, MainStreet, opposite the Presbyterian Church; Will- 
iam Steele, Main Street, opposite the courthouse; J. Wilber, High Street, 
between Second and Pennsylvania; Thomas Cottrell, William Street, be- 
tween Market and Front; Gould, at Rising Sun Iron Foundry; H. 
Clove, blacksmith and plow- maker, corner of Walnut and Second, ships 
annually about $3,000 worth of plows to the Southern country; R. 
Hartgrove, Market, between Main and Second. 

Coopers. — Theophilus Jones, Walnut Street, between Main and Second; 
Thomas Jones, Walnut, between Second and Pennsylvania; Lewis Noble, 
on alley east of the Universalist Church; William McGuffin on alley 
between Market and Front; William Walker, between Second and Penn- 
sylvania; Samuel Berkshire, on alley near the seminary. 

Tailors. — Robert Turner, east side of Front, between Main and 
Second; Caleb Campbell, east side of Main, near the corner of Market; 
Almon Scranton, west side of Main, near Market. 

Saddlers. — Nelson Eastman, Market, near the corner of Main; P. 
Eastman, east side of Main, near Market; A. & M. Dunning, west side 
of Main; Mr. Martin, Front street are opposite Washington Hotel. 

Stoves, Etc. — Joseph B. Sheldon, southeast corner of Main and Market, 
also manufacturer of copper, tin and sheet iron ware; Thomas Summers, 
northeast coi'ner of Main and Walnut, manufacturer of copper, tin and 
sheet iron ware. 

Hatters. — Bennett & Morgan, east side of Main between Front and 

Wagon and Plow-Makers. — M. Huston, William Street, between Mar- 
ket and Front; E. Wilber, High Street between Second and Pennsyl- 

Tanner and Currier. — S. Jelley, corner of Front and Pennsylvania. 
Lumber Yards— ^. Seward, corner of Second and Walnut; John M. 
Daniels, Walnut between Main and Grand. 


Bakery and Confectioner y. — A. Rector, west side of Main Street, 
four doors from Front. 

Gunsmith. — Jacob F. Smith, Market near the corner of Main. 

Turning. — A. C. Campbell, in the alley in the rear of Mapes & 
Hoole's furniture rooms. 

Carpenters and Joiners. — W. Wentrell, S. W. Sharp, D. Thorn, 
King, Kingdon, Keith, J. Larew, T. Bradley, J. Lindsay, T. Lindsay, 
W. Jones, J. Keister, F. Vanness, J. L. Morgan, David Anderson, W. Hall, 
George G. Brown, T. C. Hall, L F. Reddington, F. Fisher, Marsh S. 

Fanning Mill. — Jonathan W. Marble, Market Street, near the cor- 
ner of Pennsylvania. 

Painters and Glaziers. — John Jones, Brownfield, George W. Jones, 
George W. Morgan. 

Brick Masons. — T. |H. Gilmore, J. M. Ginnings, Ross Crosby, L. 
Clark, C. Bunnell, S. Henderson, P. Shultz, McQuithey D. Gilmore. 

Stone Masons. — O. English, John Q. Latta. 

Draymen. — John Serber, Jacob DeWolf, J. A. Howard, F. Brierton, 
Jacob Speilman. 

Butchers. — W. F. Tudsbeny, R. Hewitt, Shotwell, J. Decoursey. 

Soap and Candle Manufactory. — J. Decoursey. 

City Tonsor. — J. Edrington, west side of Main, between Front and 

Rising Sun Pottery. — Market Street, between Grand and Fifth, 
Brownfield, proprietor. 

Newspapers. — Indiana Blade, published by S. F. Covington, corner 
of Main and Front Streets; The Times, published by B. J. Hathaway, 
Front Street three doors below Grand. 

River Trading. — About 100 flat-boats leave this landing every year, 
loaded with produce for the Southern markets; a large number of those 
engaged in this business leave here during the months of September and 
October, and remain in the South until the succeeding May or June. 
The value of the produce at this landing will average $1,500 to the boat 
load, thus making the total amount shipped by flat-boats each year $150,- 
000. The value of produce shipped by steam-boats amounts to over 
$80,000 per annum, making the total value of produce shipped from 
this point $180,000. The following named persons are engaged in the 
river trading: J. Stephen, J. W. Lemmon, J. M. Vance, W. M. Vance, 
W. Pepper, H. Clore, J. C. Clore, George H. Craft, R. Rodgers, P. 
Roberson, Jamison & Stuart, W. Poteet, A. Walton, H. Dodd, H. A. 
Hart, A. Paul, J. C. Miller. W. Miller, T. Lindsay, I. D.Hamilton, Sam- 
uel Seward, J. Seward, Stephen Seward, R. Noble, Joseph Seward, W. B. 


Sink, B. B. Loring, O. Noble, G. W. Kemp, W. C. Kittle, W. T. Pate, Ira 
James, W. P. James, H. James, Morgan & Anderson, John Tait, Jr., H. 
Jelley, W. Oxley, B. Hall, James Tait, W. F. Tudsbery, J. C. Wells & 
Co., A. & M. Dunning, J. A. Clark & Co., J. H. O'Neal, W. O'Neal, Ed 
Granger, W. Higbee, F. Vanness, C. Lostutter, J. J. Hayden, Jesse Hewitt, 
Gibson & Beatty, D. Wilber, E. Wilber, H Merrill, L. H. Howard, Capt. J. 
Thompson, H. W, Brown, J. Larew, John Grace, Thomas Grace, Tim 
Grace, E. Calkin, E. S. Calkin, D. Calkin, W, Espey, George Roger, P. 
Thompson, J. Q. French, G. J. Moore and W. Freeman. 


The following article is extracted from the "Centennial Sketch of 
Ohio County," the article appearing over the initials F. J. W. : 

"In 1814 the first steamboat passed Rising Sun. It formerly had 
been a large barge that made several voyages from Cincinnati to New 
Orleans, consuming eight months in the downward and upward trip. A 
rudely constructed engine was put into it, and thus furnished and fitted 
up, the steamer 'Independence' plowed the waters of the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi Rivers. Arriving at New Orleans, Gen. Jackson, commander of 
the American forces, pressed it into service against the British; and, 
after the war, in 1815, she began her upward trip, and arrived, after a 
voyage of four months, at Rising Sun, where she stopped for wood, but 
none could be obtained. John James furnished her with fence-i-ails for 
fuel, and agreed to take his pay in a passage to Cincinnati. He em- 
barked, but such was the slow speed of the steamer that when he got to 
North Bend he left the boat and walked to Cincinnati, arriving some 
twelve hours before the steamer. 

"The citizens of Rising Sun and vicinity, being men of energy, and 
interested in improving and opening up the business of the country, 
early saw importance of engaging in steam-boating, for the con- 
venience of the people, as well, no doubt, with the idea of giving em- 
ployment to deserving men, and turning an honest penny for themselves 
for their investment of capital and skill. And to do this they commenced 
building steam-boats. Fortunately they had in their midst a man of 
energy and'ingenuity, who was a practical ship -carpenter, and who had 
been one the workmen on the famous old frigate 'Constitution,' that did 
such active service in the war of 1812, and the keels of all the nine 
steam-boats built at Rising Sun and Milton were laid by him. His 
name was Prince Athearn, Sr. His skill and the means of the most 
prominent men of Rising Sun were brought into requisition, with the 
following results: 

"The steam-boat 'Alpha' was built at Rising Sun. in the year 1834, 


and finished in the early summer of 1835, and was run as a packet from 
Rising Sun to Cincinnati first, and then in the Cincinnati and Ports- 
mouth trade until December 13, when she was loaded for Florence, Ala., 
on the Tennessee River; it was at the time of the removal of the Creek 
Indians from Georgia to Indian Territory. As the boat was small, two 
keel boats were provided to tow on each side, and she bargained to take 
about 600 Indians, including their negro slaves, to Fort Gibson, about 
700 miles up the Arkansas River. Returned to Rising Sun in March. 
The officers were, up to this time: L. C. Wagoner, captain; James 
Read, mate; John H. Jones, clerk; Jesse Hewitt, pilot; Harvey Green, 
steward; W. Goldson and Elijah Townsend, engineers; W. Arthurs 
and William Walker, deck hands. The boat proved poor stock, was sold 
at a loss to the owners, run South, and finally wrecked somewhere in the 
Red River country. The principal owners of the boat were S. Hatha- 
way, Samuel Best, Sr., Jacob La Rue, Moses Turner, William Cullen, 
J. C. Wagoner, John H. Jones and Robert Thompson. 

"In 1835, Col. Pinkney James and Henry James built the steam- 
boat 'Dolphin,' at Milton, on Laughery Creek, to run between Rising 
Sun and Cincinnati, which she continued to do until the spring of 1838, 
making daily trips. 

"In 1837 Capt. John B. Craft, Piatt, Lanius, and Athearn, built 
the 'Renown,' at Milton, and started her in the trade between Madison 
and Cincinnati, but there not being sufficient business, she made trips 
to Pittsburgh, St. Louis and New Orleans, and was sold to Cincinnati 

"In 1838 Col. P. James built the 'Herald,' at Rising Sun, and put 
her in the, trade as a tri-weekly packet between Warsaw and Cincinnati. 
She was soon burned on a downward trip, near Anderson's ferry, about 
nine miles below Cincinnati. Fortunately, no lives were lost by the 

"Col. James immediately lengthened the 'Dolphin,' at Rising Sun, 
and in the fall of 1838 brought her out as the 'Hoosier,' intending to run 
her as a packet between Patriot and Cincinnati, but getting aground on 
Gunpowder Bar on the first trip, and, being detained a day or two, it 
was decided to confine her to the trade between Cincinnati and Rising 
Sun until the fall of 1839. 

"In 1839 Col. James built the 'Indiana,' at Rising Sun, and in the fall 
of that year she took the place of the 'Hoosier' in the Cincinnati and 
Rising Sun trade, and continued until the spring of 1843, when Col. 
James sold her to the trade between Cincinnati and Maysville. After- 
ward, Capt. Thomson Dean purchased the 'Indiana.' 

"In the year 1854, Capt. Eldridge G. Brown was at New Orleans, and 


seeing a boat used in the towing business by the name of 'Indiana,' 
he could not believe it was the old boat he had commanded, until he 
went aboard and examined her, when he was convinced that it was the 
old boat. After the 'Indiana' was sold, the Baldwin Brothers, of Cincin- 
nati, put the steamboat 'Fashion' in the Rising Sun and Cincinnati trader 
but soon after sold her to Capt. William Glenn and Levi Stevens, who 
extended the packet trade to Madison. This virtually ended the packet 
trade between Cincinnati and Rising Sun. The 'Dolphin,' 'Herald,' 
'Hoosier' and 'Indiana,' were commanded by Capt. Eldridge G. Brown. 
Robert Thompson, still living in R